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September 15, 2023 10:00 pm  #1

1967 Homemade Dorm Recording Mystery Solved !

There was a post in 2014 on the Steve Hoffman forum about a amateur dorm room recording, the poster digitized the recording he made of a mystery hippie girl in 1967 and posted it to the site with the description below along with a You Tube link to the recording. A few days ago the mystery of who the singer was was solved. The singer had made some recordings with a San Francisco group called Marvin Gardens. The Singer's name is Carol Duke. She passed away in 2014, the same year the  clip in question was posted. The original poster passed away in 2015 but the mystery  has been solved. People would occasionally post to the thread and I remember reading it a few times but what a great story.

The thread is 49 pages long with many new entries since the mystery was resolved. The thread can be assessed here.

The original post:

This is what I call The Dorm Tape 1967. The facts are simple and frankly taught me a lot about simplicity in recording (and later, photography). I heard a girl singing and playing guitar down the hall in my dorm at UC Santa Cruz. She was hitch hiking through and needed a place to crash. I liked the sound I heard coming down the hall and I decided to try recording her. So I grabbed my reel to reel Sony 350 recorder, a modest piece, and two really crummy dynamic mikes that were part of the kit. I hand held them a foot or so from the guitar and her mouth ( left right more or less) and just let her sing. She was sitting on a dorm cot and I was standing in front of her monitoring the levels on the Sony while holding the mics. Kind of awkward. My life moved on and now 44 years later(!), I pulled it out, digitized it and decided to add it to the YouTube archive of material from my alma mater. What I learned is that simple ain't so bad: musicality counts for a lot and a lot can be done with simple equipment...and common sense. Hope you enjoy.


Last edited by Fitz (September 15, 2023 10:03 pm)

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September 16, 2023 8:27 pm  #2

Re: 1967 Homemade Dorm Recording Mystery Solved !

This whole story along with the recorded performance would make a great indie feature film/book.

Carol's singing is so easy on the ears and natural. I'm adding this to my music library.

Thanks very much for sharing this Fitz.

p.s. Marvin Gardens is a cool name for a band.


September 16, 2023 9:48 pm  #3

Re: 1967 Homemade Dorm Recording Mystery Solved !

The tape had gotten a tremendous positive reaction when it was first posted in 2014. People asked the original poster to upload lossless files of it and he obliged. One of his last posts spoke to the fact that someone had without his permission put up CD's of it for sale. He was not happy.

People have even made different mixes including a mono fold down from the original stereo.

Her cover of the French Girl written by Ian Tyson is great and the other songs including a cover of Dylan's Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues also shine.

Took Columbo like sleuthing just recently for one person to solve the mystery.  Somehow they made the connection from the Doors Live at the Matrix club in 1967 to a Marvin Gardens gig there in 1968.

49 pages on the thread and at least 40 had accumulated in the 9 years before the mystery was solved.

EDIT : I found the post on the SH board where the poster expalns how they resolved the mystery.

Abkco said: 
@monkboughtlunch - I’m shocked you connected the dots. How did you do it? How did you stumble onto this?
@Abkco Through my superior powers of deductive reasoning. (I'm kidding!  )

Like most folks on the forum, I listened to Mike's wonderful 1967 dorm recording back in 2014 and a few times since. The mystery singer's voice was distinctive enough that my brain filed it away in my subconscious.

I recently picked up a new CD release which Peter Abram engineered, entitled: The Doors Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Recordings. I read an article which noted that Matrix club co-owner Peter Abram recorded virtually every band that performed at The Matrix club in the late 1960s.

So, after listening to the new Doors release, I was curious if there were any other commercial releases besides The Doors and Velvet Underground that were published from Mr. Abram's Matrix tapes. A Google search led me to listen to a few of The Matrix recordings of Marvin Gardens on YouTube that Mr. Abram recorded.

I wasn't familiar with the band Marvin Gardens; upon listening, I found them to all be excellent musicians. But the singer's distinctive voice sounded familiar to me, and then my subconscious "fingerprinted" the voice. I realized it was very similar to the mystery woman on Mike's 1967 dorm tape. I then Googled the Marvin Garden singer's name and read the promo blurb from High Moon Records' Facebook page about Carol Duke's 1967 travel route from Bakersfield to San Francisco. I realized that Ms. Duke's 1967 travel path could have easily intersected with Mike's dorm at UCSC. This clinched my suspicions about Ms. Duke possibly being the mystery singer enough for me to bring her name forward on this thread for further investigation.

Last edited by Fitz (September 17, 2023 7:18 am)

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