Based in Greenville Mississippi from the early 1960s, Henry Reginald Hines set about creating his own musical empire initially built around Rhythm & Blues Music but ultimately encompassing a number of different genres. Initially a builder by trade, Hines was inspired to enter the Music industry & initially hooked up with Al White & The Hi-Liters, an established band based in New Orleans. Hines formed Lynn’s Productions and then set about scouting and signing talent from various regions. Artists Hines worked with saw their music either licensed to other labels for release or released on one of the many in-house labels run under the Reginald banner. Hines would have a strong hand in many of the releases as a songwriter and producer as well as organising recording sessions and distribution. He did not work entirely alone though and many records feature collaboration from other artists, writers and producers with Vicki Williams’ name cropping up often on the Greenville & later Chicago releases and Al White being seemingly heavily involved with the New Orleans recordings.
In the early-mid 1960s Hines worked closely with Al White in New Orleans scouting talent and recording artists, often at Cosimo Matassa’s studio. These recordings appear on the Folkways LPs as well as as 45s on a number of local labels and larger labels from other regions.
From the mid 1960s Hines (using the name Lynn Williams) seemed to also collaborate with his wife Vicki Williams and utilise recording facilities closer to home in Greenville. These productions would see release on a number of in house labels as well as being licensed to labels in other regions.
Later on a relationship was forged allowing cross-distribution of product between Greenville and Chicago giving Hines’ operation a presence in the windy city. Further distribution networking was done through Together Records in Atlanta Georgia.
Seemingly at some point in the mid/late-1970s Hines and Williams wound up their operations in Chicago where it had all moved to in the early 70s & morphed into the MTVH/REW family of labels/distribution. The rumour has it that Hines went underground from the IRS but exactly what happened to Vicki Williams & Lynn Williams after the Chicago operations ran their course is unknown. Hines is rumoured to have resurfaced in the 80s for a spell as a born-again preacher in the south under an alias and then again to have settled in Chicago in the 90s. Further rumours have him based in Georgia. What became of him today is unknown. He is known to have used a variety of names throughout his career: Henry Hines, Reginald Hines, Lynn Williams, Lynn Hines all refer to the same person!
The Greenville set up was closed down, looted and then caught fire and much of what remained was destroyed. Luckily much of the vinyl stock has survived and pockets of unplayed stock copies of the records continue to appear today.
A lot of the information above has been gathered from 2nd hand sources so if you can consolidate or corroborate any of this please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
The main addresses and locations appear to have been:
Lynn’s Record Dist./Reginald Records et al.
1522 Baronne St., New Orleans
617 Nelson St, Greenville
476 Muscadine St, Greenville
551 N.Muscadine St, Greenville
Delta Production Association, 604 E Clay, Greenville
VH&L Circle Dist., Chicago
REW Record Distribution, 2335 So. Cottage Grove, Chicago
MT&H Record Distribution, 2335 So. Cottage Grove, Chicago
Together Records, PO Box 7155, Atlanta, Georgia.
Above is a letter sent to Lynn Williams (Hines) from the Contracts Inc. Collection Agency, 1315 Dorr St, Toledo, OH, 43607.
The letter is undated but is fairly clear in its intent, it reads:
“We have been hired to ask you to pay your debts. We usually ask only once. Our man will be in town the last of next month. We do not know our client, but if you owe anyone in the Ohio, Mich, Ind areas, please pay them before the middle of next month. I must tell you it is better to pay than run. We can & will find you. Your bill is late, almost too late. Contract #55662”
Some newspaper snippets from the early New Orleans era of operations