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Mingering Mike 45 available now!!!
Mingering Mike is the soul superstar you've never heard of.
Between 1968 and 1977 Mike recorded over fifty albums,
managed thirty-five of his own record labels, and produced,
directed and starred in nine of his own motion pictures. In
1972 alone he produced fifteen LPs and over twenty singles,
and his traveling revue played for sold out crowds the world
How is it that such a prolific musician has gone under the radar
for the past 30+ years?
The answer is that all took place in Mike's imagination, and
in the vast collection of fake cardboard records and acapella
home recordings that he made for himself as a teenager in
Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s.
In 2003 two record diggers (Dori Hadar and Frank Beylotte)
stumbled into the world of Mingering Mike at a flea market.
There they discovered a collection of albums that were made
solely of cardboard, and each package was intricately crafted,
complete with gatefold interiors, extensive liner notes, and
grooves drawn onto the "vinyl." Some albums were even
covered in shrinkwrap, as if purchased at actual record stores.
The crates contained albums not only by Mingering Mike, but
also other unheard of artists such as Joseph War, the Big "D,"
and Rambling Ralph, on labels such as Fake Records, Inc.,
Decision, Sex, and Mother Goose. There were soundtracks to
imaginary films, a benefit album for sickle cell anemia, and a
tribute to Bruce Lee.
Baffled by the discovery, they posted pictures of the albums on
Soulstrut.com, a forum for record collectors. Mike instantly
became a cult hero, and soon everybody was dying to know
who this Mingering Mike was and why he would have made
this bizarre collection of seemingly non-existent albums.
Dori and Frank tracked Mike down, and they soon became
friends Mike revealed his story of how as a lonesome teenager
he dreamt of being a soul singer, songwriter and producer. His
dream was his and his alone - he shared it with no one outside of
his close family, and he surely never imagined that it would be
seen by anyone else. A couple of weeks earlier Mike had fallen
behind on his storage payments, and, as a result, many of his
belongings (including all of his handmade albums and recordings)
were auctioned off and sold at the flea market.
A shy kid growing up in turbulent 1960s, Mike expressed himself
the only way he knew how: through his music and his art. He
took in everything around him - the war in Vietnam, war and civil
rights protests, a growing drug epidemic, poverty and racism -
and made something beautiful out of it all.
MINGERING MIKE, by Dori Hadar (Princeton
Architectural Press), presents Mingering Mike's best albums
and 45s, finally bringing to the star the adoring audience he
always imagined he had. With a preface by Neil Strauss, an
essay by Jane Livingston, and a message from Mingering