Queen Emily

The self titled release marks the debut of Emily David, a Houston-bred, Stockton, California-based housewife who gained fame as a contestant on the TV talent show "America's Got Talent" singing, among other things, Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools."

The video has logged over one million plays, a rare accomplishment for a contemporary, tradition-rich, rhythm and blues record. Tommy Couch, Jr. was so taken with the raw talent of Ms. David, who (now famously) gave up a musical career to raise children--both her own and her sister's--that he signed her to a contract sight unseen. For Emily, who finished as a semi-finalist, the reward of her talent-show experience WAS the Malaco signing.

"I think around a year after the show, Tommy Couch from Malaco Records made a call to me out of the blue saying 'We wanna record you, and we wanna give you a contract!," Emily told "Blues & Soul Magazine's" Pete Lewis last year.

"And I was like 'Get OUTTA here!' You know, they had so much confidence in me, they signed me before even MEETING me! Like I signed the contract with Malaco talking to Tommy over the phone after he'd faxed it to me in Las Vegas!"

Queen Emily has a strength and range most divas only dream of, but the greater significance of her debut is being swept up by Southern Soul's flagship label. No one knows better than Southern Soul performers how elusive a contract with Malaco is.

Musical purists who keep Southern Soul music at arm's length (based on the electronic instrumentation) openly embrace Malaco Records, and justifiably so, because Malaco publishes music with professional--even lavish--care in the grand tradition of Stax, Hi and Muscle Shoals. The company's credentials are impeccable (Johnnie Taylor, Z. Z Hill, etc.), as is the label's orbit of producers, writers and studio musicians (Frederick Knight, Harrrison Calloway, etc). ~ Daddy B. Nice (southernsoulrnb.com)

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