Instruments: Producer, Studio Owner
Place of Birth: Tuscumbia, Alabama

1993 Music Industry Award

A native of Tuscumbia, Tommy Couch entered into the business of music while a student at the University of Mississippi where he began booking acts for local parties and dances.

Following his graduation with a degree in pharmacy, Couch continued his activities as a booking agent. In 1967, he formed Malaco Records in Jackson, Ms., a company which has become the largest Black record company in the country.

During the rise of the company, Couch has produced many hits including two albums nominated for Grammys, Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue" which sold two million copies, and Mississippi Fred McDowell's "I Do Not Play No Rock and Roll".

Couch also produced the breakthrough album by Z.Z. Hill, "Down Home Blues" which went gold.

In 1985, Couch along with partners Gerald "Wolf" Stephenson and Stewart Madison purchased Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and publishing companies. They have also expanded their operations to include Savoy Records, Muscle Shoals Sound Gospel Records, and publishing outlets in Nashville and London.

Among the artists included on the labels are Johnnie Taylor, Denise LaSalle, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, The Williams Brothers, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Dorothy Moore, The Annointed Pace Sisters, Jackson Southernaires and many others.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Tommy Couch Jr., 37, is General Manager of Malaco Records in Jackson. 

He says he has no musical talent. Others disagree. 

Ever since Tommy Couch Jr. began booking and managing bands, many for fraternity parties on Southern college campuses while attending Ole Miss, Couch has been, well, no slouch in the music business. 

"At some point, I fell in love with the music business and the business of music," said Couch, who earned a marketing degree from the University of Mississippi in 1987. "After college, I continued booking and managing bands, than expanded my interests by starting a label, with success, which resulted in its purchase by Malaco Records." 

Initially, Waldoxy Records, Couch's label, focused on alternative rock and white blues bands. When that marketing strategy netted mixed results, Couch began targeting the same Southern soul/blues that traditionally supported Malaco. The result: "hotter buzz artists," said Couch. 

When Dave Clark, Malaco's "dean of promotion" retired, Couch, a native Jacksonian, began taking over promotional duties for the company established by his dad, Tommy Couch, and his uncle, Mitchell Malouf, in 1968. The founding duo also began their music careers booking bands for fraternity parties while attending Ole Miss. Malaco Records initially began making and marketing southern soul, blues and gospel music, and has expanded to include jazz, urban, Christian and children's music. 

Now general manager of Malaco Records, Couch oversees more than 75 recording artists and songwriters, thousands of original recordings and song copyrights, and more than 130 employees in Jackson, New York, Nashville and Franklin, Tenn. 

"The greatest challenge I have faced has been the transformation of being perceived as a child into becoming a business associate in a family business," he said. "The ways in which I have overcome this challenge have been by doing above and beyond the call of duty, more than has been asked of me, hard work, a proven track record, determination, persistence and finding a balance." 

In 1996, Couch founded CAI Entertainment, an agency that specializes in booking and managing local and regional bands. That summer, he was elected to the Blues Foundation Board, and for two years since then, has served as board president. He has produced more than 15 albums in Mississippi, and is a voting member of NARAS, the recording academy for the Grammys. 

"Perhaps, though, what is more important than his professional accomplishments are his hours of volunteer service he so generously gives away," said Monica E. Daniels, M.S., director of development for Magnolia Speech School, the only auditory/oral school in Jackson that provides oral education services to hearing impaired and language-disordered children. "He started KISS-A-PIG, a fun event in which companies and other candidate teams compete to raise money in the fight against diabetes and for their candidate to kiss a real pig!" 

Since 1998, Couch has actively supported and often spearheaded fundraising activities at Magnolia Speech School, and was recently asked to serve on its board. "Because of his passion for our work and his commitment to our students, Magnolia Speech School serves more children, better than ever, in our 46-year history," said executive director Ann Sullivan, M.Ed. 

In his spare time, Couch enjoys duck hunting and fishing, "activities...(that) provide me with an opportunity to completely relax and enjoy friends," and spending time with his wife, Tiffany, and sons, John Thomas and Peyton.

Source: http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-2599468/Tommy-Couch-Jr-2003-Top.html


Producer & studio owner from Tuscumbia, Alabama. Tommy Couch entered into the business of music while a student at the University of Mississippi where he began booking acts for local parties and dances. Following his graduation with a degree in pharmacy, Couch continued his activities as a booking agent. In 1967, he formed Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1985, Couch along with partners Gerald "Wolf" Stephenson and Stewart Madison purchased Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and publishing companies. They have also expanded their operations to include Savoy Records, Muscle Shoals Sound Records, and publishing outlets in Nashville and London. Among the artists included on the labels are Johnnie Taylor, Denise LaSalle, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, The Williams Brothers, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Dorothy Moore, The Annointed Pace Sisters, Jackson Southernaires and many others.

Source: http://www.discogs.com/artist/Tommy+Couch

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