If I had to pick one thing and one thing only that truly moved, inspired me, expanded my mind, and moved my feet, I would hand that golden stature to the greatest soul superstar you never heard of: Mingering Mike.
How all this incredible work found its way back to this world is pretty great too. A record collector, Dori Hadar, bought some crates of records sight unseen. Although Dori knew pretty much all there was to know about soul music, he encountered records he had never seen before. Upon closer inspection, these sealed and stickered discs were clearly hand-painted. A full examination revealed a complex world of musicians, producers, and session players, their rise and fall, complete with side explorations into movie soundtracks and benefit albums. A complete mythology and rockin' universe.
Although the actual discs in the jackets were often cardboard facsimiles, Mike and his cousin recorded several tracks over the years, singing all the instruments themselves. "Coffee Cake" is my number one single of the last three seasons. Mike's music is now available for download on eMusic. The book is must-buy for anyone who has ever danced or sang in their dreams (and Amazon has it bargain priced now). The Ted Museum would certainly give Mike's entire collection front hall prominence. And the movie, well the movie, will change your life and blow your mind (but we have to make it first!).
There is also a great story on Mike in The Washington City Paper this week.