“In 1967, Couch and his brother-in-law Mitch Malouf opened a shoestring four track recording facility on West Northside Drive in Jackson, renting space adjacent to a record storage warehouse next to venerable record veteran, Johnny Vincent, and christening this dream Malaco Recording Studio,” recalls Stephenson. Stephenson worked in the studio as well, and soon both pharmacists had left their practices to focus solely on Malaco.
In the beginning, Malaco struggled greatly, but a production deal with New Orleans musical genius Wardell Quezergue led Malaco to a string of hits, including “Mr. Big Stuff” and “Groove Me.” Malaco march on through the 1970’s and 80’s, which welcomed blues musician Z.Z. Hill to their front door. “Couch and Stephenson’s second offering on Hill, ‘Down Home Blues’ remains to this day arguably the best selling blues album ever released,” boasts Malaco.
2017 marks a significant anniversary for Malaco Music Group – the fiftieth anniversary of the first recorded session in the Jackson studio. Today Malaco Music Group is comprised of recording studios, record labels, music publishing companies, direct marketing operations and distribution services. Mississippi’s capital remains the home of Malaco, and they continue creating extraordinary Blues, R&B, Gospel and Soul records with their signature “Down Home Malaco Sound.” Congratulations to this legendary recording studio. We cannot wait to see where the next fifty years lead.