The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

city

Michael Mauldin

Music and entertainment executive Michael Mauldin was born in Murphy, North Carolina in 1953. Mauldin began his musical career in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he started as a musician playing with the racially integrated band, the Other Side. After briefly attending DeVry Institute of Technology, Mauldin moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he married and had a son, Jermaine.

In 1975, Mauldin received his first break in the music industry when the funk band, Brick, needed a van to haul their equipment to a gig in North Atlanta. After helping Brick with his van, Mauldin was hired by them as their stage manager and later he became their production manager. In the mid-1970s, he began working tours which involved many R&B and Funk band acts such as: the Bar Kays, LTD and others. Through this work, Mauldin decided to start the touring company, MTM Roadwork’s (Making Tours Move) that provided staff and crews for groups such as: Sister Sledge, Cameo and the SOS Band.

In 1984, 1985 and 1986, Mauldin produced the New York City Fresh Festival where his son, Jermaine Dupri was the opening act. The Festival featured rap pioneers: Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Run DMC and the Fat Boys, and in the late 1980s, he honed his production and tour management skills with R&B artists: Cameo, Luther Vandross and Anita Baker and formed an artists management group. Through the management group, Mauldin helped spearhead the musical careers of: Arrested Development, Kris Kross, Da Brat and Xscape. In 1995, Mauldin served as the President of Columbia Records Black Music Division while simultaneously holding the position of Senior Vice President of Columbia Records Group which included joint venture deals with Ruffhouse Records, So So Def Records and Trackmasters.

In 1999, Mauldin left Columbia Records and moved back to Atlanta to work with his son at So So Def Recordings, and he founded the Artistic Control Group. The Artistic Control Group is a small Atlanta based entertainment firm which includes the Mauldin Brand Agency. The firm also has a music publishing component and a tour management division. In 2002, Mauldin was the executive producer for the film, Like Mike starring rapper Bow Wow. Mauldin is currently working with NASCAR to help penetrate the urban market place and has a deal to produce a motorsports inspired apparel line aimed at the crossover market which he refers to as, “the Fast Life.” Mauldin also runs a non-profit organization called Hip Hop 4 Humanity (HH4H), which he founded after the 9/11 attacks.

Mauldin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.257

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2007 |and| 2/29/2008

Last Name

Mauldin

Organizations
Schools

Murphy Elementary School

Murphy High School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Murphy

HM ID

MAU01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Murphy, North Carolina

Favorite Quote

The World Is A Ghetto.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/30/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi, Italian, Soul Food

Short Description

Entertainment manager and record executive Michael Mauldin (1953 - ) became the first African American president of the black music division for Columbia Records in 1995. He is owner of his own entertainment firm called Artistic Control Group which includes includes Mauldin Brand Films and the Mauldin Brand Agency.

Employment

Road Manager for Brick

Taurus Productions

MTM Roadworks, Inc.

Rock Label

Favorite Color

Black, White

Timing Pairs
0,0:1358,15:2037,24:5238,65:7178,96:8148,107:10088,138:23785,309:24355,316:27490,400:31860,448:34710,507:46019,588:48066,626:57360,822:57780,833:58550,847:59110,856:59740,870:62050,930:66390,1043:66670,1048:70940,1153:71220,1158:71570,1165:72970,1182:73320,1188:80058,1255:80722,1274:81220,1279:81718,1286:98380,1500:98680,1505:105430,1631:106705,1674:107530,1720:108430,1739:114080,1772:125940,1959:129620,2049:135909,2089:136717,2098:137525,2109:142878,2192:147870,2270:151160,2341:153400,2412:159360,2509$0,0:4785,79:21415,295:21898,300:22312,307:22933,319:23278,325:23968,340:27004,414:29488,481:31282,530:33214,634:36940,700:38113,813:38596,917:43081,999:73205,1435:83430,1581:86150,1633:86630,1641:94575,1736:103404,1906:105044,1954:114830,2097:120374,2236:121094,2250:121382,2303:121886,2316:133305,2491:133905,2502:137355,2603:149115,2829:152948,2872:157400,2945:157824,2950:159520,2964:170507,3093:173965,3174:176149,3209:181988,3320:182456,3328:183470,3360:190412,3502:190958,3510:196829,3588:204710,3755:208331,3821:213940,3989:224244,4111:224628,4120:230924,4215:239660,4369:240164,4376:241172,4400:242180,4424:242516,4429:253628,4560:254285,4568:259833,4721:265162,4832:268374,4923:284342,5076:284710,5108:285394,5122:286100,5135
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Mauldin's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin describes his maternal family's Native American ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michael Mauldin describes the Texana section of Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin talks about segregation in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin describes the poverty in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin remembers Christmas celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin talks about his Catholic upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin remembers Marie de Porres Cress

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michael Mauldin talks about race relations in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michael Mauldin remembers Principal Ella B. Ragsdale

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin recalls his childhood asthma

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin remembers his bicycle accident

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin recalls a murder in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin remembers the residents of the Texana community in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin describes his home in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin recalls his family's television and telephone

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin describes the Texana School in Murphy, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin remembers his involvement with the Cub Scouts

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michael Mauldin recalls his experiences at summer camp

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Michael Mauldin describes his father's involvement with car racing

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael Mauldin's interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin describes his high school band, Other Side

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin recalls his decision to attend the DeVry Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin describes his first impression of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin remembers the shooting of a friend from college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin describes his experiences at the DeVry Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin recalls his first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin talks about the origin of his son's name

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Michael Mauldin recalls his return to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michael Mauldin talks about his musical experiences in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin remembers meeting the band Brick

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin recalls touring with Brick

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin recalls founding MTM Roadworks, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin recalls his collaborations with Bunnie Jackson-Ransom

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin describes his reasons for starting a business

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin recalls managing the arcades at the William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin talks about his early experiences in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin recalls cofounding the New York City Fresh Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michael Mauldin recalls working with Diana Ross

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michael Mauldin talks about the emergence of hip hop music in the South

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michael Mauldin describes the culture of hip hop music

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michael Mauldin recalls the artists involved with the Fresh Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michael Mauldin remembers founding the Rock Label

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michael Mauldin describes the role of a music producer

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michael Mauldin talks about managing Silk Tymes Leather and Annie G.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Michael Mauldin recalls his work with The Reddings

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Michael Mauldin talks about the music industry in the South

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Michael Mauldin talks about the origin of his son's name
Michael Mauldin recalls touring with Brick
Transcript
And your child that was born, son or daughter?$$Son. My son was born, and I was really into my music. So when I realized he was born on September 23, 1972, and when I realized--for some reason I want to say that was either Friday or Saturday, but I kind of get the days mixed up. We had never really--we'd talked about it, Tina [Mauldin's first wife, Cecilia Mosley] and I, about the name, but we never really talked about it much. And I guess just, you know, the guy in me or whatever, my influence in music, I named Jermaine [Jermaine Dupri]. And, you know, I was into music. And quite honestly--you know, my name was Michael [HistoryMaker Michael Mauldin], and I did what I did. So, I named him Jermaine. One of my favorite groups at the time was obviously The Jackson Five. I'm like--even though for whatever reason, it just was--and Jermaine Jackson was a great, or I thought was a really good bass player. I'll say great bass player, but a really good bass player. And he could sing, and so that's kind of what it was. It was just like, you know, it was a kid--in a way, it was a kid thing. But then one of the greatest artists of all time that I really loved was Donny Hathaway. And I listened, I used to listen to his records all the time. And the guy that played bass for him--well, Willie Weeks played bass. But there was a guy that played guitar named Cornell Dupree on Donny Hathaway 'Live,' Cornell Dupree. And I'm just--so one day I'm riding in the car listening to the song called "Ghetto" ["The Ghetto"] with Donny Hathaway, and he had Cornell Dupree on guitar. And I'm like, "Wow, Jermaine Dupri, that would be a great name." And the only difference is that I spell it different. And because I was into cars, there used to be a car out called the Capri. And the Capri was spelled P-R-I, like, you know, instead of P-R-E, or like Grand Prix, P-R-I-X. But it was -pri. So I said, okay, you know--again, that's kind of the black thing in me I guess. I just had to make it a little different (laughter). So it's like, okay, it's going to be D-U-P-R-I, Jermaine Dupri, not like Cornell Dupree, which is P-R-E-E. I went and, you know, I told Tina, and she agreed. And I don't remember us ever really talking about it a lot, which is probably not good. I don't mean to be chauvinistic or anything, but I just told her that's what I wanted to name my son. And she went along with it, next thing I know that was on his birth certificate. So, it was Jermaine Dupri Mauldin.$So what happens next with, with Brick? How do you continue the relationship?$$Really, coincidentally--obviously they knew me. I had, again, the ghetto super van. And my--they were playing shows. They started getting more and more popular. They had a song called 'Music Matic' in '75 [1975] that really took off in south Georgia and in Florida; it really started working in Florida. And they asked me to--one night one of their cars broke down, because they were carrying all their equipment in different cars and stuff like that. And I think Reggie [Reginald J. Hargis] or one of the guys--anyway they called me up to see if I would help them get their equipment. I believe it was in Athens, from Athens, Georgia back to Atlanta [Georgia], because they went and did a gig. So I said, yeah, you know. So that Saturday morning, you know, they bought me some gas, ten dollars or five dollars or something like that, and I went up and loaded it. So when I got there, they were all, they were there with the cars that they had. And we started just loading up my van, and lo and behold, we were able to put all their equipment in my van. So, I was able to drive the van, and drove the stuff to Atlanta. When I got to Atlanta, we didn't even unload it. When I got to Atlanta, they said, "Man, Mike [HistoryMaker Michael Mauldin], we got a gig down in Savannah, Georgia tomorrow. Would you, you want to carry our stuff down to Savannah? We'll give you fifteen dollars, or twenty dollars. You can just be there." I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, no problem, cool." And that's what started it. I ended up going--and when I went with them to Savannah, that was a big show. A group called Hot Chocolate--I say a big show. It was in the auditorium, and Brick was just one of the bills. And a group called Hot Chocolate and some other--and I remember Hot Chocolate. There were probably a lot of other more well known names, but I remember that group for some reason. And at that point, I was just carrying their equipment. But now, I'm on a big stage. So I helped them put the equipment on the stage, and I started helping them set stuff up. And it just kind of became a natural thing to me. And I really just worked myself into a position with them without even saying that's what I was doing, or without them even knowing that's what I was doing. And so then when they got off stage and got through performing, obviously they were sweaty and everything. They get off stage, so they have to go back. And they had one guy, but they would go back and try to get their equipment together. I just started getting the stuff off stage for them, and helping them. And the next thing you know, they felt like they had a road crew between me and the guy that was helping them. And that's kind of the way it kicked off. So, I became a roadie at that point.$$Okay. And this is, now how long do you work with Brick?$$For a long time. I say a long time, because this was 1975. And Brick started really, really hitting, and they were doing, they did something called the Kool Jazz Festival, which was in '75 [1975]. And then that really gave me the bug, because the Kool Jazz Festival was at the, it was a stadium event. It was at the old Atlanta Stadium [Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia], and I was able to take the ghetto super van. Now that van, oh, god, I don't have it today, it's a shame. But that van meant a lot to me. I was able to take that van and really drive on the Atlanta Braves field. And you know, they had the plywood and you had to follow it so that you didn't--but because I had the equipment in there, I drove--and I never will forget. I felt like I was--I'm driving out on the field with my van. And it was like such a, I'm like man, I'm on this, I'm on the Atlanta Braves baseball field. Mama [Grace Bowman Mauldin], you should see me now (laughter). You know, but I was doing it to unload the equipment, and obviously there was a lot of groups, you know, from Earth, Wind and Fire--. I mean there were just groups, prominent bands. And I'm like, okay, I've made it, this is kind of it. And again, that was '75 [1975], and things started really taking off. So from there, I became the stage manager for Brick. And things took off so good for them. They ended up doing a song, recording a song called 'Dazz,' and really that rolled us--by that time we were going into more like '76 [1976], I think. And 'Dazz' really came out in '76 [1976]. But it took off like huge for them. And then the management company bought a bigger truck, and said, "Oh, Michael do you want to drive the truck?" So now, I'm driving a bigger truck, a big red and yellow truck. And you know, I became, like I said, the stage manager extraordinaire. We started putting crews together, and it just happened really fast. The next thing I know, I'm flying all over the place. So, I worked with them--to answer your question, I worked with them up consistently probably through 1978, in and out. But in '77 [1977], I was able to start my own business [MTM Roadworks, Inc.], just from the idea of that.