Aretha Franklin used to pour her soul out and cry over Henry Stone’s piano at his TK Studios in Hialeah, Florida.
She was signed to Atlantic Records at the time, so out of respect for his pals Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and their contracts and lawyers, he didn’t record her. But Stone’s historic career does include releases from some of the greatest female vocalists of all time in R&B, soul, funk, dance, and disco.
Here are the top 10.
7. Lynn Williams
Lynn has the honorable distinction of having cut one of the first TK Records releases written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC & The Sunshine Band. She recorded for Stone’s TK, Dade, and Suncut labels. Also, her mom is Miami radio personality Vanilla Williams and her dad is the great r&b sensation and longtime friend of Henry Stone, the guy who recorded the first version of “The Twist,” Hank Ballard.
Lynn Williams on the Miami Soul Sisters.
6. Paulette Reaves
This sexy funk and soul singer recorded for Stone’s Blue Candle and Dash labels and worked extensively with Clarence “Blowfly” Reid and young bass player George “Chocolate” Perry. She recorded classic songs like “Secret Lover,” “Jazz Freak,” and “Love The Hell Out Of Me”.
Paulette Reaves All About Love
5. Dorothy Moore
She’s most famous for her love’s lament on the song “Misty Blue,” but when the little independent Mississippi label that recorded it couldn’t press up a million records fast enough, they teamed up with Henry Stone who also released Ms. Moore’s uptempo dance number “Let The Music Play” through his TK Disco label. It saw extensive spins in nightclubs all over the country, but especially NYC, where Frankie Crocker, the voice of the city, played it all the time.
4. Charlotte McKinnon
Charlotte was an original member of the hit making group Company B behind the chart favorite, and freestyle classic “Fascinated.” She has sung live and on albums with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and KC and The Sunshine Band. She recorded solo for Henry Stone with 1987’s high energy club smash “Thief In The Night.”
3. Anita Ward
To this day “Ring My Bell” is one of the most recognizable songs in the world. Its irrepressible beat and chorus took it to the top of the Billboard charts only 3 weeks from the day it was released, one of the fastest responses to a single that Stone ever witnessed.
2. Gwen McCrae
Wow, what a voice, what charisma, what presence, what personality, Gwen McCrae is a favorite of electronic music DJs all over the planet. Her big hit for Henry Stone’s Cat label was “Rockin’ Chair,” which sold heavily, and her name is still huge today. She is of course also responsible for “90% of Me Is You,” sampled by Avicii, and “The Rub” with George McCrae, which has also become a classic hip hop sample.
Gwen McCrae Sings TK and Gwen McCrae For Your Love.
1. Betty Wright
Ever since walking into Henry Stone’s life with Willie Clarke, Clarence Reid, and Willie “Little Beaver” Hale, Betty Wright brought an energy that shook the world. “Cleanup Woman” was an immediate million seller and to this day some of the greatest musicians in the world remember exactly where they were and what the they were doing the first time they heard it. Where were you the first time you heard “Cleanup Woman?”
Betty Wright on Miami Soul Sisters.
Many of these can be found on Miami Soul Sisters