Michael Liggins met “Mighty” Mike Lenaburg in Phoenix, Arizona in 1963. Liggins was cutting his teeth with a band called The Soul Patrol. “We hit it off good. He was young, as was I,” Lenaburg recalls. “He was doing instrumental soul – it wasn’t funk. Not yet.”
Liggins progressed along. By 1966, The Soul Patrol had broken up and Liggins joined the Lenaburg-produced Soulsations. The Soulsations were close kin to Liggins’ later ensemble, The Super Souls. “They were mostly Mexican, except for Mike and Rudy (and Don, on “Loaded to the Gills”), who were black,” Lenaburg states. In 1968 Liggins left The Soulsations and The Super Souls were born.
“Psychedelic music was in at the time. I liked that kind of music,” Lenaburg recalls. “You have to remember, I was in my early twenties and I had a record shop in Phoenix – Melody Records. I listened to all the latest music. Locally, there wasn’t as much of a market for that type of music as we had intially thought. It was out there, so it didn’t really hit. Of course, I was young and really didn’t know what I was doing either. I recorded the band and released their records because I believed in the group. I wasn’t really aware of what was happening, but I liked the sound. We had more of a psychedelic sound than a funk sound. It was funk too, but it was more of a psychedelic thing. We looked up to Sly and The Family Stone and Funkadelic. I was very open-minded.”
In between the two Super Souls sessions (which appear on the Now-Again issued anthology record), Liggins ended up playing saxophone on the We The People songs that Lenaburg later released on Darlene Records. “We needed a B-side, so Sam (leader of We The People) worked with the group and got “Function Underground” together for us,” Lenaburg remembers.
Liggins and Lenaburg recorded a blues song called “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe” in 1972. By then, The Super Souls had disbanded. “By 1972 they were disgusted and had just kind of lost interest in music. I continued to manage Michael until 1985,” Lenaburg recalls. “He was very talented, often working for five or six different bands. He then moved to Vegas, where he continued to play for a couple of years, but couldn’t make a living at it. Since he was a union plumber, he had a plumber’s license. So he started working maintenance in hotels in Vegas and finally just lost interest in music.”