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The Mingo Revue’s roots trace back to 1977 in Waterloo, Iowa to the original group, then known as “Mingo & Mobus,” created when Mike Mingo and Grovor teamed up with keyboard player Gary Mobus at the Colony Club for a three-month engagement. Percussionist Dan Showers (Mike’s cousin) joined the group during the second month and “The Mingo Revue and Grovor” was born. In February 1978, the show moved to the Ramada Inn in Springfield, Ohio. Mobus and Showers stayed for nearly a year when a major shake-up happened - they wanted to go back on the road, while Mingo (and Grovor!) wanted to stay in Springfield. In February 1979, the split occurred.

Mike met keyboard player Tim Rowe in 1979 in a practice room at Kincaid's Music in Springfield. Mutual friend Steve Brixey introduced them, and Mingo later said, “I knew from the first song we went through that Tim was exactly what the Revue needed!” They teamed up in February 1979 and, along with John Kannard from Lima, Ohio on drums, formed the new Mingo Revue. After a four-week stay at the Sheraton Inn in Lynchburg, Virginia, they returned to the Ramada Inn in Springfield where Kannard was replaced by drummer Chuck Davis from the Lynchburg area. Chuck filled in for eight weeks until returning to school in his home state.

Several drummers went through working auditions while Mike and Tim searched for the right person to fill the spot. Notable was Tom Spurgin, then a school teacher in Springfield who played drums for the Revue six nights a week while teaching during the day. 

In August of 1979, The Ramada Inn experienced a change in management, and the Revue opened a Tuesday through Saturday four month stay at the Big Apple Showroom on Dixie Highway in Dayton, Ohio. During the fourth week, percussionist Phil Reed from New Carlisle, Ohio replaced Spurgin, and became the drummer who would complete the trio and fill out the Revue’s show.

The Mingo Revue returned to the Springfield, Ohio Ramada Inn in February 1980 and began a run that was to last almost six years. Tim notes, “We went through five General Managers, at least a dozen food-and-beverage managers, and four ski-masked robbers while we were there.”

The Revue performed six nights a week and featured a Tuesday “Ladies Night,” a Wednesday “Country Night,” a Thursday “Oldies Night,” and rounded out the week with standing-room-only shows on Fridays and Saturdays.

Packed houses were also the norm at special events including regularly scheduled Elvis Tribute nights (sometimes featuring a young former Wittenberg University quarterback named Brian Brenner) and a run of outrageously successful Halloween parties. The Ramada Inn’s New Year’s Eve parties were always sold out events, and in the late 1970's and early 1980’s, the Ramada Inn with the Mingo Revue was definitely “the place to be” in Springfield.

Phil Reed left the show in November 1984, and once again, the revue searched for a drummer. After several drummers came and went, Mike and Tim finally made the high-tech switch to synthesized drum machines (which were becoming popular in recoding studios at this time) and The Mingo Revue was on its way to redefining the act as a duo. (read more here)

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