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Interview with Henry Horne (Producer of Creations - Kinky Girl)

Displayed here is one of the funkiest records from 1984 on the small Dre-Mar label. The Creations with their freaky 'Kinky Girl'. A brilliant 80's funk hammer with hard uplifting beats, strong vocals and great synthwork. Earlier they released a 12 inch single on Dre-Mar entitled 'Keep Dancing' but 'Kinky Girl' is without a doubt their best. Always indemand but not too difficult to encounter. Read the interview with the creator of 'Kinky Girl' below. Listen to a sample here.

Today I speak with a man who is responsible for at least 2 underground killer cuts which are rated among the better 12 inch singles by insiders. The superfunky 'Kinky Girl' by The Creations and the irresistable 'Lady Shine' under the alias The Horne Section, both written by Henry Horne from Philadelphia. Hi Henry, how are you doing?

Henry Horne:

I am well these days, thank you!

I'm not going to interview you about Lady Shine, my swedish friend Patrik Andersson did that already but you will have to tell me all the details about The Creations, one of my favorite funk records. I was listening to this song a few weeks ago and read the credits on the label stating H. Horne. That's when a bell rang in my head and I saw the connection with The Horne Section. Before we go into details, can you sum up all the bands you played in during your career.

Henry Horne

Wow, lets see. Just before THS rougly around 1983 1984 I played bass with Fat Larry's Band for a little while. After "Zoom" and "Act Like You Know" the band broke up and he reformed the band keeping only the 2 guitar players and the percussionist. Then the THS project from 1984 til 1985. Then I played bass for Eugene Wilde filling in for a good friend Doug Grigsby for a little while. After that I doubled on guitar and keyboards with Pieces of a Dream from 1986 to 1988. From 1988 to 1996 I became music director for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Harold was my best friend. After he passed away I pretty much stopped playing in other bands.

Harold Melvin continued making very fine records during the 80's. Did you know him before you released a solo record? And how did he influence you as an artist/producer?

Henry Horne:

I didn't know Harold Melvin prior to Lady Shine. As a matter of fact I didn't meet Harold until Lady Shine had long come and gone. Harold was an inspiration. He thought I was a great young producer. He is totally responsible for me singing today. He pushed me up to the microphone.

Harold Melvin & Henry Horne

It is clear from your music that you had a natural talent for delivering footstomping tracks. I am always blown away by 'Lady Shine' and again by 'Kinky Girl', something which doesn't happen very often when you consider they were penned down by the same guy. Which of those did you write first? They are both from around the same time right?

Henry Horne:

I think they were either from the same year or almost a year apart. Lady Shine came first for sure.

THS (The Horne Section) - Lady Shine 12 inch

When I contacted you about 'Kinky Girl' you were like 'WOW!, someone knows this?'. I thought that was funny. As a matter of fact this record is on many want lists and i would call it an essential piece for the serious collector of 80's funk. Do you regard this record as not worth to mention among all you've written? You didn't mention it in Patriks interview.

Henry Horne:

No, but Lady Shine is my best track ever. I got called to do a track for this group The Creations but none of the musicians could play my track so I did all the instrumentation myself and put Alexander Hall, the lead vocalist, on the track and grabbed a horn section and made up all the parts right there, then threw it all together in one session. This was done from start to finish that day. I had no idea this song would ever be released. I was shocked to learn about that many years later.

It was also released as a 45 single. You probably don't know either that both Lady Shine and Kinky Girl have been included on CD compilations, do you?

Henry Horne:

No, I didn't know that.

Alexander Hall, was he a friend of yours?

Henry Horne:

I met him on that project and we became very good friends. In fact, he was gonna be the new lead singer for The Horne Section. Alexander Hall and I had cut tons of tracks. Unfortunately nothing came of it due to bad people in our management and legal dept.

'Kinky Girl' is about a dull and shy girl who had an apparent 'extreme makeover' and now blows the minds of all the guys on the block. Was this story based on a real life situation from your past? If yes, who was she?

Henry Horne:

No. That was just my imagination at work :)

How did you come up with the music?

Henry Horne:

I stole part of that groove from what was gonna be the second release from THS.

The Creations in a rare photo. Special thanks to Terrell Harris for providing image.

Only 2 releases came out on that Dre-Mar label as far as I know: 'Kinky Girl' and 'Keep Dancing', also by The Creations. The songs are quite different from eachother, 'Keep Dancing' sounds more laidback and organic and was released a year earlier.

Were you involved in that song as well?

Henry Horne:

No. I was called in for their second release.

Who were involved in the recording session of 'Kinky Girl' and what was their role?

Henry Horne:

They were: Henry Horne - Bass, guitar, drum machine and all keyboards. Alexander Hall - Lead vocals, Henri McMillian - Trumpet, Mark Johnson - Trombone, Darnell Robinson - Tenor Sax, Louis Taylor - Alto Sax and there are 3 voices doing the background vocals: Alexander Hall on the bottom, Henry Horne doing the middle and Darnell Robinson doing the top harmony.

What happened after 'Kinky Girl's release? I can't imagine such a hardcore track being played on mainstream radio stations. Did it get any promotion at all?

Henry Horne:

I don't know what happened after I cut the track. It was not played here in the States at all, at least not where I lived.

You said you and Alexander have done tons of cuts, do you still have the demos of those? I would love to hear other tracks you have done in those golden years.

Henry Horne:

Yes, I still have unreleased material somewhere. I will dig up those demos and let you hear some.

Wow, that would be really great, i'm looking forward to them. Which of the songs you've written brought you the most success?

Henry Horne:

Lady Shine. But after talking to you it might have been 'Kinky Girl'. I'm not sure now :)

Thanks a lot for your time, I feel honored to have spoken to the man behind some of my favorite records. You're the master. All the best to you!

Henry Horne:

You are welcome and thank you very much. I will be working next on some Gospel with the Kinky Girl flavor.

Henry Horne.

November, 2007

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