Malcom H. Welbourne

Papa Mali was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1957 to Dorothy and Alfred Welbourne. His family later moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and he grew up in Broadmoor, went to Arthur Circle Elementary School and graduated from Captain Shreve High School. As a young person he enjoyed listening to KEEL Radio and collecting records. His mother loved swing music and Roy Orbison and Elvis, Hank Williams and Bob Wills. Both he and his mother bought records from Stan's Record Shop, Woolworth's, G. C. Murphy's and Sears. One of the first records he bought was Irma Thomas' `I wish someone would care.' He says that growing up in the 1950's and `60's was great because Shreveport the oil business was strong and Barksdale Air Force Base was a big influence on the community. He began playing a guitar at five and by the time he was eleven he could play pretty well. His parents were very supportive until they found out that it was going to be a profession and not a hobby. Once he began to have some success, they became more supportive and when his cousin called from London and told her his record was in the record store in London, his mother "could not believe it". He travelled around a lot when he left Shreveport and had bands in Knoxville, Tennessee, Florida and New Orleans and ended up living in Little Rock, Arkansas and formed The Louisiana Mud Company which later became Nightfall. He spent a lot of time in New Orleans in the summers and holidays where he developed an affection for rock and roll, blues, soul, funk and country music. In 1977 Malcolm went to Jamaica and when he came home, he decided to put together a reggae band and The Killer Bees was formed in 1980. He met his future wife, Michelle, in 1982 and they were married in 1984. His favorite part of being a musician is the enthusiasm he has for the music and what it means to him, hoping that he is reaching people in the same way. He thinks that the music industry has changed a lot because of the internet. You don't have to have a record deal, anyone can cut a CD and mediocrity is not filtered out. His favorite artists are the Stones, Beatles, Dylan, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.