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Sun Aug 16, 2015, 06:27 PM

If I may, interesting article about a guy called Mingering Mike.

A Google turns up no references on DU, so I hope I am supplying new information.

I was going to put in Good Reads, but then I realized it wasn't current as I am behind on my reading. The Smithsonian exhibit ended on the 2nd of August.

A Cover Artist, Discovered—40 Years Later

Mingering Mike had all the requisites for a legendary music career, except the music.


In the interlocking ’60s-era revolutions in pop, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, there was an inchoate sense of communal promise—a belief that a new gathering of voices hymning new variations on age-old themes of generational revolt, social protest and personal longing could break through to a mass audience. That disaffected artists, formerly consigned to the bohemian margins, need no longer feel quite so alone.

In the fulcrum of this shift, the African-American artist known today as Mingering Mike began to register the impact of these upheavals on his own vulnerable young life. Growing up in the grimmest reaches of Washington, D.C., in the ’60s, the boy had lived in 13 different neighborhoods by the time he was 18. His mother died when he was 5, and his troubled father bailed out not long afterward. An older sister raised him, and while she looked after him as best she could, her alcoholic and abusive husband was a constant threat.

In contrast, the soul music of his youth preached love, optimism, independence, self-assurance—and rebellion. So, like millions of other American young people in the 1960s and 1970s, he sought to carve out a life for himself in that other, more accommodating world. He tried to coax new songs out of a “cheap toy guitar,” but, he recalls, his main connection to music was visual: “When I was 15 and drawing a lot, all of a sudden, names of songs that I never heard of would pop in my head, but I didn’t have the knowledge to write.” Mike crafted a persona around the made-up name “mingering”—a hybrid of mingling and merging—and created an amazing body of imaginary soul records, hand constructed from cardboard and lavishly annotated. He invented imaginary record labels—Puppy Dogg, Ming-War, and Fake Records, among others—and outfitted them with titles from a sprawling catalogue of fictitious Mingering Mike songs.



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Reply If I may, interesting article about a guy called Mingering Mike. (Original post)
SusanCalvin Aug 2015 OP
kwassa Aug 2015 #1

Response to SusanCalvin (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 08:16 PM

1. I saw an exhibition of his work. Fascinating.

He is a great American folk artist. He created a whole imaginary world of his own recording career, with painted album covers, posters advertising concerts, and even painted records. It is also a time capsule of the '60s recording scene. In person, it is pretty powerful

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