Laura Levine
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Mingering Mike the Soul Supa-star
posted: February 9, 2008
I just now came across this story - I'll let the official Mingering Mike website explain. (Don't miss the track listings):

THE SOUL SUPERSTAR YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF!

Between 1968 and 1977 Mingering 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 released fifteen LPs and over twenty singles, and his traveling revue played for sold out crowds the world over.

How is it that such a prolific musician has gone under the radar for the more than thirty 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, each intricately crafted with gatefold interiors, extensive liner notes, and grooves drawn onto the "vinyl." 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 even soundtracks to imaginary kung fu films and a benefit album for sickle cell anemia.
5 comments
David Goldin February 9, 2008
Did he put the $1.99 special sticker on the cover? Got any more? These are very coool. Tribute to Bruce captures Mr. Lee perfectly.
David Goldin February 9, 2008
Very cool article. Being a digger I can only imagine the thrill of finding a collection like this. A long time ago, a master digger, J.J.Sedelmaier became my digger guru. He could reach into a dumpster without looking and pull out gold: an old oak box filled with rare photos or whatever. I 'd reach in only to be covered in dumpster juice.
Cathleen Toelke February 10, 2008
Wow!! What a great post, Laura. When I first saw it, I thought it was your new, modified Laura Levine style done in markers. Amazing Mike story, and your own dumpster diving story as well.
Nancy Stahl February 10, 2008
That's a heart breaker... all that great stuff being hauled to a dump. Couldn't you have slipped them a $100 to leave the dumpster there for another couple of days? It would have been empty in short time and they wouldn't have had to go to the dump... win/win. I guess that was back when alternate street parking was exactly that, before there were any move-free days.
Joseph Fiedler February 10, 2008
Somebody should send that over to Mark Heflin. Awesome!
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