Saturday, November 9, 2013

40 Year Itch : The Rise of TK Records

On November 10, 1973 Harry Stone's TK Records, out of Hialeah, Florida,  took out a small  ad in Billboard Magazine celebrating the success of some current singles on the Hot Soul Singles chart including one that peaked at #27 on the soul charts called "Blow Your Whistle" by a band called KC and the Sunshine Junkanoo Band.

Harry Stone had mainly been in the record distribution business when he lost one of his biggest clients during the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic merger. For his next move he turned to two guys in the Hialeah warehouse who didn't know how to read or write music: Harry Wayne Casey (aka "KC") and Richard Raymond Finch (a student recording engineer and self taught drummer). 

      As KC and the Sunshine Band they would record 15 chart hits including five #1 pop hits, the first three hitting the #1 R and B chart as well: "Get Down Tonight" (July 1975), "That's The Way I Like It" (October 1975), "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" (July 1976), "I'm Your Boogie Man" (February 1977) and "Please Don't Go" (August 1979), and "Keep It Comin' Love" (#2 pop and #1 Rand B in July 1977). They also wrote "Rock You Baby" a #1 1974 smash hit for George McRae who had all but given up his singing career to support his wife Gwen.

But even that was a year away. And nobody knew what was coming. So it's just a small ad ( made smaller because of my own technical difficulties)  and T.K. ( named after recording engineer Terry Kane who built Stone's 8 track studio) is just a small label.

 The other singles mentioned in the ad  are actually from other small labels Harry Stone owned. Gwen McCrae, on the Cat label, had a single called "For Your Love" which was stalling at #44. Her "Rockin' Chair" would be a Top 10 hit in 1975.

Latimore's cover of the classic "Stormy Monday" was on Stone's Glades imprint label . It would peak at #27 on the Soul charts.  In 1974 his "Let's Straighten This Out" would top the Soul charts.

   And at #78 another Glades artists, Timmy Thomas, who hit #1 on the Soul charts a year earlier with "Why Can't We Live Together", had released a new single from his follow-up album


  1. i love your blog, excellent history of music, good job, music appreciation