Malaco Records - Business Matters - - Jackson, MS

Malaco Records - Business Matters

The death of blues legend Bobby Blue Bland last week thrust the label he last recorded music for back into the spotlight. Jackson's own Malaco Records was Bland's label since 1985.

From Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue" to Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff", the internationally acclaimed record company has been making music for nearly 50 years.

Malaco Records president Tommy Couch, Jr., says while the industry has changed, from vinyl-to-CDs-to-MP3s, their formula for success has not.

"Malaco was branded the last soul company," Couch Jr., said.  "We have had success in other parts of the music business, but soul, gospel, blues is what we stay true to."

The "Last Soul Company" had to do some soul searching when the historic studio was destroyed by a tornado in April 2011. The then 43-year-old complex was left in ruin.

Like an uplifting hymn from Malaco produced Mississippi Mass Choir, the Malaco family persevered and rebuilt.

They re-opened in April 2012 right where they have always been.  On West Northside Drive right where Mitchell Malouf and Tommy Couch, Sr. started the company in 1968.

"We're from Jackson," Couch Jr., said.  "We are a part of Jackson, Jackson is a part of us."

Now updated, Couch said Malaco has a state-of-the-art recording studio and the layout is better for business.  With the studio, warehouse and offices each in separate buildings,

Couch went as far to say that the silver lining in the storm was their opportunity to re-design the complex.

Whether destructive storm or changes in the music industry Malaco maintains its place as one of the world's top independent record labels.  That is something Couch takes pride in especially when considering the fate of other great record labels.

"When you think that Motown, Stax, TK, Chess, all the great labels that have been that are no more," Couch Jr., said.

The last soul company is still standing, not skipping a beat. 

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