Henry Stone: The Sunshine Sound of Miami

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Líder: PappaWheelie
Política de associação: Aberta
Criado em: 30 Out 2006
Like Syd Nathan at King, Morris Levy at Roulette, or the Chess Brothers, Henry Stone was one of the original "round table of moguls" for nearly 60 years, while defining the Florida sound.


Henry Stone, born in the Bronx on June 3, 1921, was a Jazz trumpeter turned Miami Florida based music mogul. He was behind nearly six decades of music trends, including Rhythm & Blues, Doo-Wop, Soul, Funk, Disco, Hip-Hop, Electro, and Miami Bass.

Some say Henry put Miami on the map musically, although others contest this saying there was quite an R&B scene there before he arrived in 1948. Either way, without Henry, there's a strong chance Miami would not have become the powerhouse city it became over the next 40+ years, launched in large part to Stone's Tone Distributors. Tone distributed Atlantic Records, Motown Records, MGM, and Warner Bros. when they were all still independent labels.

After stints playing trumpet for small bands and in the military, Henry started his career in the record industry distributing records to juke joints, working for labels such as Modern Records and King/Deluxe. He followed this by recording acts independently and was one of the first to record Ray Charles, James Brown, Wilbert Harrison, Sam & Dave and Hank Ballard. Reportedly, it was Henry who inspired Ballard to rework his ballad (The Twist) into a dance song, sparking the dance craze of the early 60's.

Next, Henry hired Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke as songwriters/producers, and eventually took on former teen idol Steve Aliamo as one of his behind the scenes protégés. As a team, they had hits with acts such as Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas, George McCrae, and too many more to list here.

In the early 1970s, Atlantic Records and Warner combined with Elektra into a major label giant who no longer needed the help of Henry for distribution. Henry and Alaimo decided to go alone as a self-contained label and compete with the majors. They consolidated many of Henry's R&B labels into the world renowned TK Records, reaching great heights with KC & The Sunshine Band, along with other Disco, Soul, and Funk acts. During this time, Miami became a musical Mecca, attracting residents such as The Bee Gees and mega-producer Tom Dowd.

In 1981, TK went bankrupt, some say from the Disco backlash, and Henry called in industry tough-guy Morris Levy for help. Levy took control of the TK catalog, but setup Sunnyview Records for Henry, which was operated under Levy's Roulette Records. Sunnyview was an everything label, but may be notable as one of the first to dabble in Hip-Hop/Electro, finding a massive classic hit when they released Newcleus's Electro classic "Jam On It" for a global audience.

When Mo Levy found himself in trouble come 1986 (losing the TK catalog to Rhino Records eventually), Henry and his new protégé Paul Klein formed Hot Productions, utilizing Instant Funk's trumpeter Larry Davis as in house producer. Hot formed just as the Miami rap scene spawned Miami Bass, and immediately they found hits with groups such as Gucci Crew II and L'trimm.

Since then, Henry and Paul have split. Paul has gone on to form Empire MusicWerks, and Henry has gone into digital distribution.


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