Malaco Blues News: Birth of a Platinum-Seller

Volume I, Issue 8

March 29, 2005


Jackson, MS–The year was 1969. Malaco was struggling. Their studio was hopping, but concert promotions were draining financial resources.  By year’s end, hanging on by a thumbnail, they quit the promotions business after losing $5,000 on Ike and Tina Turner. With the new year came new prospects and a Midas touch that not only succeeded in keeping Malaco alive, but made it a force to be reckoned with. That Midas of Music is Wardell Quezergue.

Quezergue had had problems of his own with an independent start up in New Orleans, prior to partnering with Malaco, mostly in the area of affording the high price of studio time. Malaco, on the other hand, was looking for artists that could make them a hit. The Quezergue-Malaco marriage was perfect. Quezergue brought the artists and produced them, Malaco supplied the studio and engineer. Malaco was already known for it’s Stax quality soul, but Quezergue added the ‘Funk’ quotient to the equation and they set to work making records.

 It was during the spring of 1970 that tracks were recorded for a number of New Orleans artists, one of whom was King Floyd. Floyd arrived at the studio with a bass line and lyrics, Quezergue worked his magic on the rest and “Groove Me” grooved many, becoming Malaco’s first Platinum-seller on their Chimneyville imprint. Here’s how it happened:

 New Orleans Disc Jockey George Vinnett took the single (intended as the ‘B; side of “What Our Love Needs”) to his niece's party the night before it was due to release on radio to test it. The next morning,  Vinnett called Floyd and Floyd relates the events that followed: “He woke me up at about 5:30 in the morning and he [Vinnett] said, ‘Hold on, hold on.’ He came out of the news and said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the pick of the week’ and he hit “Groove Me.” I said, ‘No, George, you’re playing the wrong side.’ I’m screaming through the phone. He finally came to the phone and he said, ‘Man what a record.’ I said, ‘No George, you’re playing the wrong side.’ He said, ‘Oh No, I took the record out to my niece’s party. They didn’t play anything else but that all night and I had to leave one of the records with them. Man, that’s a major hit. That’s a monster, King. Watch what I’m telling you!’” (The Last Soul Company, pp 10-11)

 “Groove Me” hit the airwaves by mistake and the rest is history. The single flew to the #1 slot on the Black Singles Chart and #6 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, quickly selling a million copies and achieving Platinum sales certification by the RIAA, thus putting Malaco on the map for good.


Born in New Orleans, King Floyd delivered a special brand of Southern soul. His career took off with the partnership between he and Wardell Quezergue (producer/arranger) with the hit “Groove Me.” His first LP was self-titled and released in 1971 after the single rocked the airwaves. In 1973, he released Think About It, which did little, and Atlantic released a surprise single, “Woman Don’t Go Away,” from his debut album, which certified gold. 1975 brought a new release, Well Done, featuring a minor hit, “I Feel Like Dynamite.” Shortly after, he left Malaco and signed a deal with Mercury Dial for a one-off single. Disco arrived on the scene and Floyd fell out of the limelight. In the eighties, he emerged to tour in South Africa and played live elsewhere, dabbling in work both in and out of the music industry until returning to the Malaco label in 2000 with Old Skool Funk.
 In 1994, Malaco released Choice Cuts, a ‘best of’ collection of Floyd’s hits as well as previously unreleased material. Included on the album are: “Groove Me,” “Woman, Don’t Go Astray,” “Baby, Let Me Kiss You,” and “Hard to Handle” (Otis Redding). Choice Cuts is an excellent representation of Floyd’s contributions to Southern soul music.

King Floyd

Feb.13, 1945
March 6, 2006

Malaco Signs Tyler Perry Cast Member Euclid Gray


 March 28, 2006

Contact: Jenny Rogers


Jackson, MS. March 28, 2006-The Malaco Music Group is proud to announce the signing of Euclid Gray, popular for his supporting role as Rev. Henry Oliver in Tyler Perry’s smash hit stage play and film, Meet The Browns (Lionsgate Entertainment). He is also known for his work as an inaugural member of R. Kelly’s platinum selling R & B group, Public Announcement.

As an independent Gospel artist, Euclid Gray makes his solo debut with Father Guide Me, a recording that has already sold more than 10,000 units ‘out of the trunk’ while touring with Perry’s Meet The Browns. “Are You A Letter,” the first single off the album is spinning in urban gospel hubs such as Chicago and receiving rave reviews by programmers. “Are You A Letter” exudes passion, spirituality and lyrics that will hold you to the very end. I think this song as the potential of being a tremendous smash…” states Elroy Smith of WGCI, Chicago. 

Father Guide Me releases nationally on May 16, 2006. Gray will appear at The Urban Network Entertainment Marketing Summit in Palm Springs, CA, April 5-9, 2006; his first event as a signed Malaco artist.

 "Are You A Letter" will be serviced nationally to Gospel radio, Urban radio stations that program Gospel music and Independent programmers.


Malaco Nabs Billboard Honors


March 22, 2006

Contact: Jenny Rogers


Jackson, MS. March 22, 2006-Billboard Magazine and announced Indy winners for the year 2005 and Malaco takes home top honors, once again. The Malaco Music Group has an easy hold on its #1 position as the Top Independent Distributor of Gospel Music, according to the Billboard March 18, 2006 article, “Billboard Salutes Independents.”

Malaco Records is ranked #1 on the Top Gospel Albums chart with The Mississippi Mass Choir’s latest release, Not By Might, Nor By Power, which has made its home there for more than a year and also claims the #1 position for Top Gospel Albums.

The Williams Brothers’, Still Here (Blackberry Records), claims the #9 slot while Juana Record’s Shadrach lands at #10 with I Won’t Worry No More. Both imprints are distributed by Malaco Music Group.

The Recap covers the twelve month period beginning February 5, 2005 and running through January 28, 2006. All recaps are based exclusively on point-of-sale information compiled by Nielson Soundscan.


Malaco's First Platinum Seller & 'Groove Me' King Dies At '61'


 March 15, 2006
Contact: Jenny Rogers

Malaco’s First Platinum Seller &‘Groove Me’ King Dies at ‘61’

Jackson, MS. March 15, 2006-King Floyd, known best for his smash single, “Groove Me,” which hit number one on the 1971 Billboard Black Single’s Chart (R&B) and number six on the Billboard Pop Charts, suffered a massive stroke on March 6, 2006. The legendary R&B/Pop singer-songwriter, entertainer, and platinum seller died in a California hospital at the age of sixty-one due to complications from the stroke as well as diabetes.

“Groove Me” first appeared on Malaco Records’ Chimneyville Records imprint as the B-side to King’s soulful “What Our Love Needs.” Thanks to the curiosity of a New Orleans D.J., George Vinnett, the single was flipped and “Groove Me” hit the airwaves, skyrocketing to number one. By Christmas day, the single went Gold and King was officially back in the music business after a long hiatus. It is interesting to note some of the names associated with King’s early success: Tommy Couch, Sr (engineer for King and President, Malaco Records), James Stroud, (multi-award winning producer, drummer), Jerry Puckett (guitar: Rick Nelson, Paul Simon, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland; engineer: Tim McGraw), Bob Mason (strings: k.d. lang; Dolly Parton, The Statler Brothers, Alabama), and of course the great Wardell Quezergue (producer/arranger: B.B. King, Aaron Neville,  Clarence Brown).

 Recorded in one take, this song turned the industry on its ear, becoming the slam dunk hit of the seventies and the biggest hit for Atlantic Cotillion Records (distributor). King became Malaco’s first platinum selling artist and vaulted its studios into the limelight. Artists from every genre flocked to Mississippi to record there, including Paul Simon, The Pointer Sisters, and Rufus Thomas. “Groove Me” was later covered by Bon Jovi for film and used for both soap and music commercials, using King’s vocals. Though King eventually left Chimneyville, he later returned to Malaco and recorded Choice Cuts on its Waldoxy imprint in 1994 followed by Old Skool Funk, on Malaco in 2000.

 Floyd King’s career is another tale of an overnight success that took years to cultivate. Born in New Orleans in 1945, King began on a street corner, literally, singing his heart out as a teen while befriending local musicians; including the legendary Mr. Google Eyes. He began to play clubs, but took time away from his career to serve in the Army. After his discharge, he traveled to New York City and then Los Angeles. It was in L.A. the singer/songwriter penned the lyrics to “Groove Me,” but did not record the song until years later. He struggled as a songwriter for several years in L.A. and finally returned to New Orleans leaving the music business completely until he met legendary producer Wardell Quezergue, who worked at Malaco Records at the time. Quezergue convinced King to work on his music again and the two set to work transforming “Groove Me” into a funky, danceable tune.

 King Floyd is the son of the late King Floyd, Sr. and Lillie Pearl Dawkins. He was married to Patricia Ann Hubbard and leaves behind three children, Kimberly Floyd Westry, Kawana Floyd and King “Champ” Michael Floyd; four sisters, Elyria Yvonne Ward, Gracie Floyd, Kerry Floyd and Katherine Floyd; a brother, Kenneth “Bird” Floyd. He was preceded in death by one sister, Lillie Etta Floyd.  He is also survived by six grandchildren, Curtis, Kyle, Kayla, King Floyd V, Christian, and Kennedy; and two aunts, Jellorine “Jet” Everett, and Marian B. Floyd and many other relatives.
 Funeral Services will be held at First Zion Baptist Church, 1221 S. Causeway Blvd., in Jefferson, LA 70121 on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 10:00 a.m.  Visitation will begin at 8:00 a.m. until time of service. Interment will follow. Arrangements are made by Rhodes Funeral Home.  Guest book may be signed online at


Brother's and Sister's Hurricane Benefit Concert



 March 14, 2006

Contact: Jenny Rogers

Brother’s & Sister’s Keepers Hurricane Relief Concert Weekend

Jackson, MS. March 14, 2006-On Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th, 2006, an acclaimed line-up of Mississippi/Louisiana Gospel recording artists which includes Grammy, Stellar, Soul Train, Dove Awards winners and nominees once again will unite to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina dubbed the "Brother’s and Sister’s Keepers Concert " in the cities of Baton Rouge, LA and Mobile, AL. The initial Brother’s and Sister’s Keepers Concert held in Jackson, MS, last October, 2005 raised over $350,000. The goal for the dual concerts next weekend is $750,000-$100,000.

Admission is free. Doug Williams of The Williams Brothers states, “Even though the admission for this Benefit Concert is free, let us all remember that this concert is all about raising money to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Therefore, I challenge every person who really wants to be a blessing that night and not just come to receive a blessing, to bring minimum donation of twenty dollars and God will bless you.”

Ninety-nine percent (99%) of all of the proceeds will be donated to organizations working directly with the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For additional information call 601-206-579 or 601-366-8863.

Concert details are as follows:
 Friday, March 17, 2006, the concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Bible Baptist Church, 3535 Mohican Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70813. For more information, contact Reverend Lee Wesley, Pastor.

This evening roster includes: The Williams Brothers, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Harvey Watkins, Jr. of The Canton Spirituals, Timothy Britten and Shabach Praise Company, DA Minista, Anderson Sanctuary Choir, Leanne Faine, Teddy Cross and The Concert Supremes.

 Saturday, March 18, 2006, the concert will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Nazarene Full Gospel Church, 1605 West I-65, Service Road North, Mobile, AL 36618. For more information, contact Joseph D. Phillips, Pastor.

The evening roster includes: The Williams Brothers, The Mississippi Mass Choir, Bishop Paul Morton, DA Minista, Leanne Faine, Nazaree Full Gospel Mass Choir, Teddy Cross, The True Believers, Castro Coleman, Highly Favored, and J. Eric Brown and Charity.


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