Monday, December 15, 2014

Magic Mike's 25th Anniversary Double-CD Collector's Edition

Listen to samples below, and order the double-CD collector's edition here:
The Story Behind The Album

How Time Flies
It's hard to believe that 25 years has passed since I commercially released my first audio-cassette of music. I recorded it the year before (1989) at my friend's home-studio: Dave Goodyear's label was called "Shoestring Productions", and was located in Winnipeg's "granola-belt" area, near where we frequented a deli called "Cousin's". Back then, "Cousin's" was owned by "Uncle" Stu Lavitt, and his lovely wife, Ruth. Down the street was my favorite Winnipeg blues bar and pizzeria, "Bella Vista", owned by Armin. I used to listen to live blues music almost every night there, and a friend, Ben Sures, was performing and selling his cassette of original blues tunes at the time. Musical genius Eli Herscovitch would drop in and jam with Ben, along with bands like "Innariddum", and others too numerous for me to remember. As a Montrealer, I believe that Montreal and Winnipeg are still cultural, musical, and artistic hubs in Canada. Everyone who was anyone there owned one of Ben's cassettes; yes, there were no CD's back then only cassette-tapes! This is what gave me the inspiration to record and distribute my own cassettes of original tunes, since I was somewhat of a television minor celebrity back then.

Everything Comes Together

I laid down the initial tracks at Dave's, and then added sound effects ("The People On The Bus") and other instruments (flute, synth) later, for the two other songs that would eventually become the theme-songs for two of my TV-shows! Folk Festival and Childrens' Festival performer "Uncle Dan" Deurbrouck contributed two original songs to the album ("Little Queen" and "Believe In Yourself") and also played the flute on "You Can Do Anything You Want". Because of the extreme "staccato"-nature of the flute on "Come Along With Me", we decided it was easier to use my synth instead of Dan's this day, many believe that it's a flute playing on that song! I was already singing "The People On The Bus" and "If You're Happy And You Know It" at my live shows, (approximately 200 a year) so it was natural to include those two songs with no multi-tracking or over-dubbing...simplicity itself! The same applied to a last-minute inclusion, "Brownie The Bear", an original song written by the puppeteer on my TV-show, Darrell Scarrett; he also authored "The Gift" and co-wrote with me "Come Along With Me".

The Debut

The master tape and cover all finished, it was time to copy (dub) dozens of copies for local distribution. Local musician and manager Ron Paley supplied me with blank cassettes for the task. (his son, known today as magician/hypnotist "Tyzen Paley" guested regularly on my television program at the time) I decided to re-write my children's book "Shiner & Moondogg", (giving it a Celtic-theme and illustrations) and included it with the tape, shrink-wrapped together as a package, after all, I appealed to kids and adults, and I wanted to (like with my TV-show) showcase all of my so-called talents and gifts. The first store to carry my new cassettes in 1990 was my friend "Red" Fergusen's stationary store in my old neighbourhood of River Heights, at Grant and Keniston in Winnipeg. What a thrill it was to see them displayed in his store! What an even greater thrill to have them sell out in a month!

25th Anniversary
2015 is the 25th anniversary of the release of my self-titled cassette, and although there have been a few more, plus numerous CD's, (see my catalogue of current albums here: the first one holds a special place in my heart, being my first and all! Like the ad-copy says, "This is the 25th anniversary COLLECTOR'S EDITION of "Magic Mike", the self-titled debut album featuring the TV-themes from "Magic Mike's Castle" and "Magic Mike & Company".
This double-CD of the original album, features previously unreleased material, ( "Just Say No", straight from the original TV-show!) the original mono tracks, digitally-enhanced versions of the original tracks, plus bonus live performances of the songs, including Mike's version of "Puff The Magic Dragon" with Desmond the Dragon and Forgetful Lion backing him up!
"Little Queen" and "Believe in Yourself" were on the original 1990 release but were rarely heard from again!
BOTH RARE SONGS are now available exclusively here, for your listening enjoyment.
Includes a print of the original cassette-cover, this Magic Mike Likey re-release is a MUST HAVE for any collector!" You can purchase it here:
You can listen to a few samples here: I've performed all of these songs at one time or another on my TV-show, live concerts, even reunion show, and now they're all here together in one place, after all these years.

I'm truly proud to share this with you.
Visit the official castle website: