Listeners tuning to Pittsburgh radio station WZUM 1590AM on Thursday evening, August 2, 1965 for the Johnny Walker Show (A quick fill-in oldies program replacing "Mack's Wax Museum" which ended suddenly just five months earlier) were introduced to music so wild and obscure that few had ever heard of the records being played by Pittsburgh DJ "Mad Mike" Metro.   That's saying something in a city full of record collectors!  Already a legend to those attending the area's numerous teen dances, his immense on-air popularity added thousands of faithful listeners and record-buyers.  The amount of "new" and desirable music that Mad Mike would add to his radio show each week was nothing short of phenomenal!  Demand skyrocketed for these impossible-to-find records resulting in the successful marketing of four "Mad Mike Moldies" LPs by local imprint and retailer National Record Mart.  Scant public recognition has been given to Mad Mike for his huge contribution to the creation of an oldies style unique to southwestern Pennsylvania's Tri-State area: "The Pittsburgh Sound".

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SERIES-  One Collector's Perspective:  Mad Mike Moldies Volume 1 was successfully released just a few short months after DJ Mad Mike Metro began his legendary radio broadcasts at WZUM and appears to have come off without a hitch while scoring a big hit with fans.  This lead to a quick release of the much-anticipated Volume II but interestingly enough the first shipment arrived at National Record Mart stores without jackets! (bought one anyway)  When the familiar red cover with Mad Mike's picture finally made its appearance it was noted that on the front slick the ballad titles were incorrectly listed as the "Rock Side", and vice-versa.  Next, there's a delay in issuing Volume 3 (although an apparently unauthorized Volume 3 record is, for whatever reason, being clandestinely pressed); in fact, when the next addition to the series finally makes it into NRM stores it's Volume 4!  Record distribution is now controlled by Supreme Teen Enterprises (a separate corporation although still at the same address) and it's obvious from the record's physical attributes that production methods or locations have also changed.  A color-vinyl Volume 5 is released next but the term "Mad Mike Moldies" is no longer being placed on the record label!  All labels now read "Oldies" although it is apparently still permissable for NRM/STE to title the LP series Mad Mike Moldies.  Also at this time the personal photographs of Mad Mike and the Wildwood Lodge have been replaced with stock images for the cover of the newly-reissued Volume 1 LP; the record label also reads "Oldies" and the various color-vinyl records sport a remastered a-side.  Some years later I acquire a copy of the unreleased Volume Six from Mad Mike but little information as to it's history, or that of the missing Volume 3.  Apparently, for record-issuing purposes National Record Mart/Supreme Teen Enterprises owns the exclusive right to market a vinyl LP titled "Mad Mike Moldies Volume (x)" and sales of Volume 6- like Volume 3- are once again halted.  Finally, without access to the incredibly obscure records in Mad Mike's vast personal collection, the NRM-sponsored series ends.

Photos of stamper and label variations, matrix numbers, rare color vinyl, etc.
Click on the thumbnails for larger picture and links to all pertinent data

All photos and scans are for educational purposes only.  Do not copy without permission.
mm1thumb (17K)
volume 1 original
mm1re-thumb (15K)
volume 1 reissue
mm2thumb (15K)
volume II
mm4thumb (14K)
volume 4
mm5thumb (16K)
volume 5

volume 6
vol1re-redmarblewaxthumb (15K)
volume 1 reissue
vol1re-purplewaxthumb (14K)
volume 1 reissue
vol2-purplethumb (39K)
volume 2 rare color vinyl
vol3lbl-athumb (17K)
volume 3 record
vol5red-blkswirlwaxthumb (15K)
volume 5 swirl
mm6a-thumb (16K)
volume 6 record
vol1re-greenwaxthumb (17K)
volume 1 reissue
vol1re-redwaxthumb (22K)
volume 1 reissue
wwcsthumb (26K)
Ronnie Haig and Mad Mike
vol5red+blkwaxthumb (14K)
volume 5 opaque red
deathraythumb (11K)
volume 5  death ray
vol5purplewaxthumb (23K)
volume 5 purple
Mad_Mike_thumb (25K)
Mad Mike Metro

volume 1 reissue
wwcs-CDwebsitethumb (55K)
Mad Mike Commemorative CD-R
Mad_Mike_Metro2thumb (35K)
Rock Bottom Radio
vol5redwax-thumb (13K)
volume 5 maroon
v6-b-bluthumb (39K)
volume 6 blue vinyl

RECORD PRODUCTION INFORMATION:  The regular-issue Volumes One, Two, and Five were produced with two different stampers that were plated, or "pulled" from the same mother, and until now it has been assumed that production was an ongoing process with simultaneous pressing at more than one location.  It is the author's premise that record production took place during several distinct time periods.  This supposition is based upon stamper variations, weight of the individual records, and the change in management of the series.  Volumes 1 and II, originally produced under National Record Mart distribution, utilize a stamper variety not seen in later volumes.   Collectors eagerly await a Volume 3 that never arrives, and months of legal wrangling ensue!  Next, newly-formed Supreme Teen Enterprises issues a Volume 4 that sports G&C matrix numbers not seen elsewhere while new 'deep groove' stampers are produced from the original production mother for Volumes One and Two (although old label stock continues to be used).  These records now average 20-30 grams heavier than their earlier counterparts!   The next release is a color vinyl Volume 5 sporting a quirky a-side stamper and a thin pressing; later, a new deep groove a-side stamper is produced for thicker black vinyl copies.  All color wax Volume 1 reissues are pressed with a re-mastered a-side stamper.  During this final period of record production all references to "Mad Mike Moldies" are removed from the record labels of Volumes One and Five; additionally Volume One undergoes a cover redesign.  The 'missing' Volume 3 record (containing identical tracks to Volume 4) is placed in stock "More Mad Mike Moldies" Volume 4 covers and sold at discount.
Note: All of the records identified here as "early" pressings were purchased from National Record Mart on their first day of availability.

If you have pertinent information about the series you'd like to share, please email the author at:  .   We would especially like to hear from past owners/employees of the G&C pressing plant or National Record Mart.  All information will be held confidential unless you advise otherwise.

The author wishes to thank Attic Records and its employees for allowing access to their extensive archive; we also wish to acknowledge Record Rama Sound Archives owner Paul Mawhinney for his invaluable assistance in verifying the above information as accurate.  Lastly, kudos to Norton Records' historian/author Miriam Linna for documenting this magical record-collecting era!

MMMonsters1-thumb (37K) MMMonsters2-thumb (36K) MMMonsters3-thumb (38K)       

Norton Records "Mad Mike Monsters"

The first three volumes of the rarest and wildest sounds on the planet are now
available from your favorite rekkid dealer or get 'em direct from Norton Records !

(A comprehensive Mad Mike biography spans the album gatefold of all three volumes)


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