Henry Stone, Architect of Disco’s Miami Sound, Has Died

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 08.13.14 in News

Henry Stone, a producer and music entrepreneur who as co-owner of disco label TK Records presided over what came to be known as the Miami sound, has died. He was 93, and his son confirmed his death to The New York Times.

Stone’s career spans decades and reflects the evolution of American popular music over that time. In the early ’50s, his Rockin’ Records label released a song he recorded called “St. Pete Florida Blues” by Ray Charles Robinson, later known as Ray Charles; the Charms’ “Hearts of Stone,” which Stone recorded for his De Luxe Records, topped R&B charts. In 1959, when James Brown had a falling out with his label home, King Records, Stone recorded his “(Do the) Mashed Potatoes,” credited for contractual reasons to Nat Kendrick and the Swans.

Though Stone kept recording R&B in the ’60s, he concentrated on distribution. In the ’70s, his Miami-based TK would become one of the biggest independent labels of its era. That was partly thanks to KC and the Sunshine Band, with such hits for TK as “Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty),”  “That’s the Way I Like It”  and “Get Down Tonight.” Though the label also issued brisk-selling records by George McRae and Anita Ward, among others, its fortunes fell when disco’s popularity faded in the ’80s, and one of its final recordings was “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s Queen parody “Another One Rides the Bus.”

Rock Your Baby, documentary about Stone and Miami disco, is on the way.

Various Artists, The Legendary Henry Stone Presents: Alan Freed’s Favorite Chart Doo Wop Records
Bobby Byrd, The Legendary Henry Stone Presents Bobby Byrd Back from the Dead
Nat Hendrick & The Swans, The Legendary Henry Stone Presents: Nat Kendrick & The Swans