When my sister Donna called me in tears this past week and told me about the death of one of our dearest friends, Mickey Borack (Mickey B), at the age of 74, a great sadness came over me. I knew Mickey was battling cancer, that his time was nearing an end, after a valiant fight. Donna talked to Mickey often, and during one of her last calls with him, she handed the phone to me. I reminisced with the self proclaimed “Prince of Rock and Roll” (42 inch waist line and all – his words) for the last time.
Who was Mickey B?
Mickey was a life-long entertainer, beginning his singing career in the early 1960s with the doo-wop band Tico and the Triumphs. They were from the Kew Gardens section of Flushing Queens, NY. The trio would sing on the street corners in the neighborhood, and in the local high schools in the area. It was in the summer of 1961 at a performance at the Forest Hills Jewish Centre when another young singer named Jerry Landis (aka Paul Simon – yes, that Paul Simon) saw Mickey and his friends, and was impressed enough to begin mentoring them, which eventually led to Paul assisting them in the studio. The band also sang with Paul on some of his early releases. As the years passed, and Tico and Triumphs went the way of so many bands and disbanded.
However, Mickey’s passion for music and entertaining continued. He eventually released the 1970s marginal hit, “Here Comes The Garbage Man,” with his band Mickey’s Men (a song the Triumphs wrote). Mickey always proudly announced that “Garbageman” hit #1 on the charts in France.
Mickey became a successful businessman, one of the largest painting contractors in New York City. In his spare time, he would perform and MC oldies shows in various places, including Puerto Rico.
This is where the wrestling angle comes in.
In 1983, on a flight back from Puerto Rico to the U.S., Mickey sat next to a young singer who was in a band called Blue Angel. Her name?
On that same flight, Mickey recognized a burly individual from wrestling, Captain Lou Albano.
Never shy, Mickey called Albano over and introduced him to Lauper. The rest as they say — or in Cyndi’s words — was “Herstory.” That introduction was the beginning of the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, which played an instrumental part in the development of WrestleMania 1.
I met Mickey though my sister, who was introduced to him at the radio station we both worked at on Long Island, WNYG-AM. Mickey came in to promote an oldies band, and my sister convinced him he needed his own radio show. That’s how Mickey B’s Jukebox Review was born. The show became a staple at the station for many years. The friendship Mickey developed with Donna became deep, and he was like family to us.
When I was having difficulties keeping my own radio show, Pro Wrestling Spotlight, on the air in 1992, Mickey was there to help, introducing me to one of his closest friends, who had a large paint store in Brooklyn, NY. That introduction turned in a major sponsorship deal for Pro Wrestling Spotlight.
Later that year, in November, I booked Captain Lou on a personal appearance at a listener’s birthday party not far from the WNYG studios. I was able to reunite Lou with Mickey, with Albano appearing on Mickey’s show. Hearing these two larger than life personalities light up the airwaves was something I’ll never forget.
Rest in peace my friend. You will be missed.
Mickey Borack (Mickey B) died in the morning of September 17, 2020. The family is asking for donations to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.