DJ Harry Frank Towers
As a Disc Jockey:
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From March of 1983 through November of 1991, Harry was a working disc jockey. He worked an average of two nights per week and with the exception of the month of January 1989, he was never out of work. Clubs where he spun at included The China Club in Manhattan, Abracadabra in Staten Island, Excuses in Yonkers, Casablanca in New Jersey and the Spectrum in Brooklyn (a.k.a. 2001 where Saturday Night Fever was filmed). Highlights of his career include being one of the very first disc jockeys in New York to play House music (New York was all Freestyle when the first House tunes were coming out of Chicago), programming Soca & Dancehall music to a largely non-Caribbean clientele and breaking Euro dance music when everybody else was playing House music. In 1992, he gave up a regular spinning schedule but continued to spin at special events all over the United States. Most notably being the Sound Factory in San Francisco (during the Billboard Dance Music Summit), the Oz nightclub on Bourbon Street in New Orleans (for Memorial Day Weekend festivities), the Paragon in Miami (for the Winter Music Conference) and at the Déjà Vu nightclub in Atlantic City (for the DJ Times Convention). He also has a radio mix show that is syndicated called Digital Groove. It is on eight stations nationwide, but in addition, they sometimes utilize his mix show for the Mainstream Mix program, as well and that hits 35 radio stations nationwide.
As a Retailer:
From September 1983 through December 1991 Harry Towers was the buyer and Billboard Reporter for Our Music Center on Staten Island. The highlight of his retail career was becoming a Billboard Reporter. Highlights were being one of the very first retailers to sell House music in New York and personally breaking many import singles that ended up becoming huge domestically. For example singles such as "Boom Boom" by Paul Lekakis, "Pump Up The Volume" by M/A/R/R/S and "High Energy" by Evelyn Thomas, would have a line of people outside the store because virtually no other store was carrying them in any quantity, when they were first released overseas. Acts such as Soul II Soul, Swing Out Sister & Bizarre, Inc. were first mentioned to their respective American labels by Harry during their promotional calls to the store. He was even awarded a gold record for "Gypsy Woman" by Crystal Waters to commemorate his efforts on behalf of that single. As a Writer:
From January 1988 through February 1990, Harry was the music reviewer for "On The Town" magazine. It was an entertainment and leisure guide for Staten Island. During his time at Our Music Center, he put out a D.J. tip sheet called "Beat Dis". It consisted of reviews, the stores top 50 12" singles and a club chart for Staten Island. He collected the top 20 playlists of the 5 top jocks on Staten Island and combined it with his own to make up this chart. For the last year of it's existence, he also wrote record reviews for "Dance Music Report" magazine. He wrote the first review for "Finally" by Ce Ce Peniston, "The Whistle Song" by Frankie Knuckles, "My Family Depends On Me" by Simone and spotlighted the first Eightball Records release. He also contributed reviews to “The Underground News”, “S.I.N. Magazine” and “Dance Music Authority Magazine”. He currently am the Mix Show Chart Manager for “Dance Music Authority Magazine” and write the "In The Mix" commentary and "Meet The Mixers" column.. On Television:
From 1989 through 1991, he was the music coordinator and on screen D.J. for "Staten Island Dance Party". It was a show that spotlighted a different high school each week and had their pupils as the dancers. He had the distinction of playing techno on T.V. before it was embraced by the general public. Videos by acts such as 2 Unlimited were featured way in advance of their pop music success here in the states. In 1978, he was a regular on Soul Alive where he was a dancer on the show. It was an American Bandstand type of program on WPIX in New York. He also danced for artists such as Sister Sledge and Phyllis Hyman for the Arthritis Telethon telecast on WPIX in 1979. He also danced for Karen Young for a short time during her personal appearances. As a Record Label Promoter
In 1989, he started his own record label called Deet Records. We barely made it past one release, but he turned that experience into landing a job as Director of Promotion for ZYX Music - U.S.A. in 1992. From January 1992 through December of 1995, he had the pleasure of promoting such acts as Double You, Twenty 4 Seven, Interactive, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, Dare 2 B Dif'rnt, Abigail and D.J. Miko. He also had a hand in the A&R as he picked the music ZYX released in America and suggested some of the ones they picked up internationally. From the acts he signed to ZYX internationally Gilette was perhaps the biggest. Her hit "Short Dick Man" went on to sell over 7 million copies for ZYX worldwide. My greatest chart success came when "What's Up" by D.J. Miko had a 20 week chart run on the Billboard Hot 100 with a peak of #58.
He was also involved with German boy band Caught In The Act. He was working on deal that would have secured them the opening slot on the first Backstreet Boys tour, in conjunction with "Seventeen Magazine." Unfortunately my bosses didn't feel that The Backstreet Boys would be successful and so wouldn't finance the tour! While there, he picked up the award at the Winter Music Conference for "Best Promoter For An Independent Label." He would receive this award for the next 5 years in a row, making me (with 6 awards) the most awarded record promoter of all time!, During that time ZYX Music was also nominated for "Best Independent Label" but unfortunately lost each year to Strictly Rhythm. From December 1995 till 1998, He was at Popular Records. In this short period of time he had the pleasure of working on projects by N-Trance, 2 Unlimited, Lost, Judy Cheeks, Doop, Fury, Playahitty, Umboza and France Joli. He also won Best Independent Label Distributed by a Major at the Winter Music Conference in 1996. His biggest success there was "Staying Alive" by N-Trance which peaked on the US pop charts at #62 and remained on the chart for 20 weeks. Next he joined P.P.I. Entertainment till 1999. His biggest success there was "Hooked On A Feeling" by Baby Talk (the dancing baby made popular on the Ally McBeal show). It ultimately sold 300,000 copies and peaked on the pop chart in the 80's.
I then started my own promotion company whose clients included Jellybean, Rampage, Number One Records & ZYX. He was made an offer to fold my company into a larger one called Promo Only and he accepted in April of 2000. Projects he was involved with there included "The Hamster Dance" by Hampton the Hamster (Koch), Kristine W. (RCA), Veronica (Jellybean), Angel Clivilles (Jellybean), Georgie Porgie (Music Plant) & Daft Punk, Melanie C. and Janet Jackson (Virgin). Now it's 2001 and he’s still doing independent promotion yet from another address, this should be the one to last. At Xtreme Records and Promotions he is working product from such diverse acts as:
The Digital Allies (Xtreme), Ricky Martin (Columbia), the Queer As Folk Soundtrack (RCA), KT Oslin (Fly Life) and Linda Clifford (West End), just to name a few. Joining my dear friends George Calle & Dave Mondo has been the most rewarding move I've made since first joining ZYX. In closing he’d like to add that none of the above could be accomplished alone. He always had the support and help of my co-workers & they share any success that may have come to me. He feels very fortunate to have been and continue to be in a position which allows him to do what he loves to do the most and looks forward to breaking records for years to come!
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