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Mike Yung, The Subway Singer Time Forgot…But God Always Remembered

mike-yung-650x390Listen, this story really soaked my face in tears. Had to get up, go grab my hanky to wipe my eyes so I could type this post properly.

His name is Mike Yung (born Mike Young) and he is popularly known as the ‘Subway Singer.’

For 30 years, this guy has been belting out tunes on the 23rd Street Subway stop in New York. Young says he actually signed a record deal when he was a teenager, but the deal flopped after the recording company went bankrupt. So he was forced to take to the subway to share the gift of his voice to the world after fate played a cruel one on him…and what a gift he has!


Yung told Pitchfork,

“I met [music producer, Teddy Vann] at Harlequin Studios in 1975, when I was 15, and he got me a contract with RCA Records in 1975 with a guy named Ron Moseley.”

“Then I went to CBS, at 18. Then I got another contract with Jim Tyrell, who started a company called T-Electric. He signed Etta James, he signed Love Committee, and he signed Mike Yung.”

Tyrell, a former vice-president at CBS Records (now Sony), founded T-Electric Records in 1979. The label released Etta James’ album Changes in 1980, and according to Yung, his own album was next on the docket. But the moment never came.

Th subway singer said,

“Something went wrong, and Tyrell didn’t get to do my album before he went bankrupt,” he says, adding that Vann never was able to help him secure another deal.”

“Nothing came of that. But you continue to do what you can do to pay your bills and keep your head from going insane.”

Now, Yung is 56 and he’s still singing. He says in the subway, his voice must be loud enough for people to hear while the trains are coming.

mike-yung-late-showYung’s moment finally came in mid-September this year, when someone posted online a video of him singing Unchained Melody by Righteous Brothers in the subway. That video went viral, garnering 40 million views in the first week. This drew the attention of The Late Late Show host, James Corden who invited him to sing at the show.mike-yung-late-show-2The performance was so stirring that it brought band leader, Reggie Watts to tears.

Watch…

Since then, Yung has joined Twitter and is keeping us posted with studio sessions, being gifted with an iPhone and how his life has turned around.

It would have been a crime if this voice, so similar that of the late Louis Armstrong had been lost forever, never to be celebrated. But God showed up at the nick of time. And Mike’s story changed.

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About Peace

Peace is a wife and mother who reports and analyses global trends from the perspective of a Deeva; in the hope of invoking a thought process that will lead to a positive change.

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One comment

  1. Elendu's Girl-pickin

    Moral of the story: never give up your dream cos they do actually come to pass

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