Mike Belkin:

Socks, Sports, Rock And Art

by Carlo Wolff with Mike Belkin

Title:  Mike Belkin: Socks, Sports, Rock and Art
Author:  Carlo Wolff with Mike Belkin
Genre: Music, Biography, Regional History
ISBN: 978-1-5323-4517-3
Formats: 6″x9″ Hardcover,
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2017
Pages: 258
Price: $25.95

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The story of Cleveland, rock and roll and a promotion company that broke all the rules

Mike Belkin examines the life of  a true rock-and-roll innovator

Mike Belkin, the son of Russian immigrants, started life as a professional baseball prospect, schooled as much in his parents’ clothing business as his coursework at Case University. But he wanted something more, and popular music was changing.

In just a few years, Belkin Productions became a name for the best shows in the region. Belkin’s business acumen gave birth to such innovations as higher ticket prices on the day of the show (to drive early sales), to the outdoor arena concerts with the iconic “World Series of Rock” shows beginning in 1974.

Belkin Productions produced the first David Bowie appearance in the United States in 1972, promoting the first show in the “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” at the Cleveland Music Hall. Other early shows included such disparate acts as The New Christy Minstrels and the spoon-bending mentalist Kreskin.

Belkin managed the James Gang, Wild Cherry, Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, and Michael Stanley.


Carlo Wolff is a publishing veteran specializing in music criticism, features, hospitality and travel journalism, corporate content writing and copy editing. A regular contributor to the jazz magazine, DownBeat, he is the author of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories(Gray & Co., 2006) and co-writer, with Eric Olsen and Paul Verna, of The Encyclopedia of Record Producers (Billboard, 1999). Wolff has been a reporter for and editor of both mainstream and alternative daily and weekly newspapers, and a review of his is contained in “Killed,” a compilation of censored journalism published by The Nation Books. A native of Dallas, Texas, Wolff grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and attended schools in the Boston area, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree with an English major from Boston University. Before he moved to Cleveland in 1986, he lived in Burlington, Vermont and Albany, New York. Wolff lives in suburban Cleveland with his wife, two dogs and a cat.

Learn more at carlowolff.com.

author-mike-belkinMike Belkin was half of Belkin Productions, the premier rock music promoter in Cleveland and the Midwest, for four decades starting in the mid 1960s. After playing professional baseball for the Milwaukee Braves farm system in Texas, Belkin returned to his hometown to become a show promoter (The World Series of Rock shows in the 1970s set outdoor venue records that still stand), band manager (he still manages Midwest rock icons Michael Stanley and Donnie Iris), and a record producer (“Play That Funky Music” which still earns very robust royalties). He is currently owner and president of Pinnacle Marketing, a professional sports licensing firm. Belkin is also a respected art glass authority, co-founding the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, and a fellow of the Corning Museum of Glass. In 2012, Belkin and his wife Annie donated 64 pieces to a permanent contemporary glass collection at the Akron Museum of Art. In 2015, Belkin and his brother Jules were honored with the Martha Joseph Cleveland Arts Prize. Belkin and his wife live in a sprawling home filled with art in rural Northeast Ohio.