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by Sheilah Belle

Jackson, Mississippi — Malaco Records Headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi has been destroyed as a result of a recent storm that plagued that section of the country. 

D.A. Johnson, Executive Director of the Gospel Division said, “It all happened Friday morning around 11am.  I was on the other side of the city at a meeting when it hit.”  It was actually a destructive tornado that demolished 3 of the four buildings that housed the record company on Northside Drive.  Johnson said, “I feel so bad that our employees had to go through that.  They actually had to run for cover for the safety of their own lives. Thankfully, no one was hurt!”

Early estimates indicate many master recordings were destroyed. Some 44 years of recorded music were either destroyed or severely damaged. However Johnson told us here at The Belle Report that the Vault that houses their master recordings held up during the storm and that their Masters were NOT destroyed.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or loss of life.

Johnson said, “What’s left is the Vault and 3 of our 4 buildings.”  He also said their recording studio was destroyed.

Now it’s a matter of waiting for the Insurance Adjuster before they begin to rebuild.  In the meantime, Johnson says, “We are in the middle of setting up a temporary work location.

A state of emergency has also been issued for 14 Mississippi counties as a result of the storms. Through the years Malaco Records has been the primary home to  many Blues and Gospel artists including ZZ Hill  Little Milton,, Bobby “Blue” Bland and BeBe & CeCe Winans.

Ironically, it was just three years ago that MALACO was honored with an official marker recognizing it as a Jackson landmark along the Mississippi Blues Trail. The company was founded in 1962.

Wolf Stephenson, one of the company’s founders said it looked like they had been hit with a wrecking ball. “It is a very sad feeling to see 44 years of work, 44 years of my life here gone in 15 seconds,” said WOLF. “But we’ll clean up and come back to cry another day.”

Courtesy of The Belle Report

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