“When Steve Alaimo came back to Miami to join me in the record business he was working as a singer at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He was just coming off hosting a nationally broadcast tv show called Where The Action Is.
He had a song on the charts called “Everyday I Have To Cry.”
He worked the Copa Cabana in New York City doing a whole nightclub act. He was a fantastic act, getting stronger and stronger.
One day I get a call from him and he says, “Henry. I wanna come back to Miami and be with you in the record business.”
I said, “What’r you crazy? You got a fuckin’ career, man. You’re a fuckin’ star, man, whattaya nuts?!”
Steve said, “Nah, I wanna be with you, man. I wanna be active on the label side with what you’re doing.”
I said, “You’re nuts!” Cause things hadn’t happened yet. This was pre KC and The Sunshine Band, and pre George McCrae, and pre all that shit. This is like toward the end of the middle sixties, you know what I mean?
I said, “Steve. You can’t do that. You’re at the Copa Cabana in New York City.” The Copa. He was doing shows in Vegas. He was workin’ Puerto Rico. He was killin’ every place he worked. The audience loved him.
James Brown once told me, “Don’t let that white boy on before me.”
I mean, it was a shame that he left show biz, it really was. He was on his way to bein a star. He had the looks, man, and everything. But he would say stuff like, “I wanna go to the dog track and jai alai with you. I wanna be with the music man. You got the whole thing goin.”
So I said, “No problem. Whattaya want. I’ll make ya my Vice President.” So he left Caesars Palace and came back to Miami.”
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