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THE RECORD MAN is a uniquely American story of how a group of musical underdogs with raw talent and diverse backgrounds, led by the indefatigable determination of one man, Henry Stone, exported the music of Miami to the world. Before there was a “music business” there was Henry Stone, “The Record Man”. From distributing records out of his '48 Packard to establishing TK Records as the largest independent label of the 1970s, Henry had an ear for hits. His funky eight-track studio and chart topping family of artists including KC and the Sunshine Band, led to the original Miami Sound and birth of Disco. When his empire collapsed on a baseball field in Chicago in 1979, Henry didn’t miss a beat launching Miami Freestyle. Turning personal tragedy into an opportunity to empower others, through Henry Stone we witness the dramatic arc of the record business from inception through the digital age. With photographs unearthed after 40 years, THE RECORD MAN captures a forgotten musical history.

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Release: Mar 10, 2015

IMDb: 1.0

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The Record Man full movie review - He who lives by the disco, dies by the disco...

During the last few years, there's been a wave of nostalgia about the music industry and several very good documentaries about this have debuted, including "The Wrecking Crew", "Muscle Shoals" and the Oscar-winning "20 Feet From Stardom".

Because of this, it's not surprising that a film like The Record Man has created. It's another story about a lesser-known figure from the industry, Henry Stone of TK Productions in Miami--creator of the so-called 'Miami Sound'. Over the years, he's produced records for a variety of stars including James Brown, KC and the Sunshine Band as well as Sam and Dave. Most of the rest of the other acts he signed are ones that most viewers today simply wouldn't recognize--mostly comprised of soul, R&B and disco acts. I felt while I was watching the film that his contributions to music were probably not as significant as the acts in "Muscle Shoals"--at least in his career up to the mid 1970s. However, during the disco days, his importance increased and according to the documentary he produced the first disco album. And, as disco flourished, so did Stone and his acts. As a result, he was, briefly, on top of the music world. How would he survive the soon to be announced 'death of disco'? How would he survive the digital music distribution age? And, how would he deal with blindness that's overtaken him in his twilight years?

While I didn't get the impression that Stone was exactly a huge figure in music, the quality of the film is quite high. The story is well constructed, the interviews engaging and the story keeps your interest. Plus this incredibly youthful 90-plus seems like a nice guy and this makes his story worth telling. Mark Moormann did a very nice job with the picture and it's not surprising that the film took the Best Documentary Feature award at the recent Orlando Film Festival--plus the fact that his career mostly occurred in Florida probably didn't hurt! Well worth seeing.

By the way, if you enjoy this film, Moormann has made several other musical documentaries, including "I See the Music: Baron Wolman--the Rolling Stone Years" and "For Once in My Life", a film about singers and musicians with various disabilities.

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