Laughner started his first band, The Fifth Edition, in 1965 while he was in middle school. In 1967, The Fifth Edition became Mr. Charlie and lasted until 1970. Bands that followed include a 1971-72 stint in the Mr. Stress Blues Band as well as his own bands The Original Wolverines (1972), Space Age Thrills (1972), Cinderella Backstreet (1973), Blue Drivers (1973), Cinderella's Revenge (1974), Fins (aka The Finns) (1974), Peter & The Wolves (1975-76), Friction (1976-77), Cleveland Blues Underground (1977), and his final band Wolves (1977) (not to be confused with the earlier Peter & the Wolves).
He championed the underground music of Cleveland and elsewhere, regularly visiting New York as the CBGB's scene was taking off in the early 1970's parallel to the Ohio music scene which led to him booking the first Television show outside of NYC at Cleveland's Piccadilly Inn.
He recorded hours of songs to tape, most of which have never been officially released. These include many originals and covers, solo, duo, or with his bands, as well as collaborations w/ Lester Bangs, Peter Stampfel, Terry Hartman, Rockne Riddlebarger, David Krauss (of Tiny Alice), Charlotte Pressler (his wife during 1971-1976), Ruby Port (aka Helen York), and others.
Laughner also wrote for Creem, Zeppelin, Exit magazines, as well as the local Plain Dealer and Akron's Beacon Journal newspapers amongst other publications featuring his poetry, prose, music reviews and articles.