Music News

RIP Henry Stone, King of Independent Records, Dead at 93

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At the same time, he ran one of the biggest distribution networks in the country, his own Tone Distributors. At its height, his organization occupied a full city block and and 18,000-square-foot warehouse in Hialeah and employed more than a hundred people at a time, from shipping clerks to radio promoters, engineers, producers, songwriters, and many more.

His life was dedicated to destroying color lines in music by making so called "black records" popular with white audiences. And he was among the first in the American music business to market directly to Latin American youths with the freestyle genre of the early 1980s.

He founded more than 100 labels, manufactured thousands of releases, and sold more than 100 million records around the world. It sounds made up, but it's true.

He was a friend, associate, and confidante to some of the biggest names in music, including James Brown and Isaac Hayes.

He was the prototypical "record man," a charismatic, fast-talking, quick-thinking hustler who took no guff and always knew a way to make a buck.

He was not a royalty-thieving ne'er-do-well, but he was an acute businessman who always made sure that contracts and publishing agreements were written in his favor.

See Also: TK Records Reunites for Henry Stone Documentary With George McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Latimore, Little Beaver, and Others

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Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel