||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
Mitch Ryder on stage, Germany 2008
|Birth name||William S. Levise, Jr.|
|Also known as||Mitch Ryder|
|Born||February 26, 1945|
|Origin||Hamtramck, Michigan, United States|
|Genres||Rock and roll, rhythm and blues, blue-eyed soul, frat rock, hard rock|
|Associated acts||The Detroit Wheels, Engerling|
Ryder is noted for his gruff, wailing singing style and his dynamic stage performances. He was influenced by his father, a musician. As a teenager, Ryder sang backup with a black soul-music group known as the Peps, but racial animosities interfered with his continued presence in the group.
Ryder formed his first band, Tempest, when he was in high school, and the group gained some notoriety playing at a Detroit soul music club called The Village. Ryder next appeared fronting a band named Billy Lee & The Rivieras, which had limited success until they met songwriter / record producer Bob Crewe. Crewe renamed the group Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, and they recorded several hit records for his DynoVoice Records and New Voice labels in the mid to late 1960s, most notably "Devil with a Blue Dress On", their highest-charting single at number 4, as well as "Sock It to Me-Baby!", a number 6 hit in 1967, and "Jenny Take a Ride!", which reached number 10 in 1965. The Detroit Wheels were John Badanjek on drums, Joe Kubert (not to be confused with the comic book illustrator of the same name) on rhythm guitar, Jim McCarty (not to be confused with the Yardbirds drummer of the same name) on lead guitar and Jim McAllister on bass.
Ryder's musical endeavors would see less success after the early 1970s. Ryder's participation with the Detroit Wheels ended just as the counterculture was becoming dominant in 1968. During 1968, Trumpeters Mike Thuroff and John Stefan were hired to tour with his horn section and band. Thuroff and Stefan also recorded the trumpet parts of Ryder's song, "Ring My Bell." This song was not permitted to be played by radio in many states due to its sexual innuendos. Ryder had one hit single from that period, a cover version of "What Now, My Love". His last successful ensemble band was Detroit. The only original Wheel in the group was the drummer John Badanjek; other members were guitarists Steve Hunter and Brett Tuggle, organist Harry Phillips, and bassist W.R. Cooke. A single album was released by this grouping, a 1971 self-titled LP issued on Paramount Records (US #176 in 1972). They had a hit with their version of the Lou Reed-penned song "Rock & Roll", which Reed liked enough to ask Steve Hunter to join his backing band.
According to allmusic.com (which calls Ryder "the unsung hero" of Michigan rock and roll), Ryder withdrew from music after experiencing throat trouble, moving to Colorado with his wife and taking up writing and painting. In 1983, Ryder returned to a major label with the John Mellencamp-produced album Never Kick a Sleeping Dog. The album featured a cover version of the Prince song "When You Were Mine," which was Ryder's last score on the Billboard Hot 100.
Ryder continues to record and tour, in the United States and Europe.
On February 14, 2012 Ryder released The Promise, his first US release in almost 30 years.
Ryder has influenced the music of such blue collar rock music artists as Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and Bruce Springsteen; whose version of the song "Devil With a Blue Dress" was part of the No Nukes concert album in the early 1980s. He has also been cited as a primary musical influence by Ted Nugent.
Bruce Springsteen still plays his music on stage. The song titled "Detroit Medley" refers directly to the Detroit Wheels. Included in this medley are the songs, "Devil With a Blue Dress", "Jenny take a ride", "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "C.C. Rider". The medley from time to time blends in a variety of other songs, but this remains the core section, often featuring guitar solos from Springsteen and piano solos by Roy Bittan.
- Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
- 1965 "I Need Help (Help Help) / I Hope".
- 1965 "Come See About Me / A Face in the Crowd"
- 1965 "Jenny Take a Ride! / Baby Jane (Mo-Mo Jane)"(U.S. #10); (UK #33).
- 1966 "Little Latin Lupe Lu" (US #17)
- 1966 "Break Out / I Need Help" (US #62)
- 1966 "Takin' All I Can Get / You Get Your Kicks" (US #100)
- 1966 "Devil with a Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly" (US #4)
- 1967 "Sock It to Me-Baby! / I Never Had it Better" (US #6)
- 1967 "Too Many Fish in the Sea / Three Little Fishes" (US #24)
- 1968 "Linda Sue Dixon / Tally Ho"(Single, Inferno I 5002)
- Mitch Ryder
- 1962 "That's the Way it's Gonna Be / Fool for You"
- 1964 "You Know / Won't You Dance With Me?"
- 1967 "Joy" / "I'd Rather Go To Jail" (New Voice Records 824) (US #41)
- 1967 "What Now My Love / Blessings in Disguise" (US #30)
- 1967 "You Are My Sunshine / Wild Child" (US #88)
- 1967 "(You've Got) Personality - Chantilly Lace / I Make a Fool of Myself" (US #87)
- 1968 "Baby I Need Your Lovin' (& Theme For Mitch) / Ring Your Bell"
- 1969 "Sugar Bee (We Three) / I Believe (There Must Be Someone)"
- 1969 "It's Been a Long Time / Direct Me"
- 1971 "I Can't See Nobody / Girl from the North Country"
- 1971 "Sing a Simple Song / Ring Your Bell"
- 1979 "Rock And Roll / Soul Kitchen"
- 1979 "Nice And Easy / Passion's Wheel"
- 1979 "Freezin' In Hell / Long Hard Road"
- 1980 "Ain't Nobody White / It's My Life"
- 1980 "We're Gonna Win / Beyond The Wall - Bare Your Soul"
- 1981 "War / Don't Wanna Hear It"
- 1981 "Red Scar Eyes / We're Gonna Win"
- 1983 "Er ist Nicht Mein President / Berlin"
- 1983 "When You Were Mine" (Riva Polygram) (US #87)
- 1985 "Like A Rolling Stone / Can Do"
- 1987 "Good Golly Ask Ollie / Good Gollie Ask Ollie (dun mix)"
- Detroit Featuring Mitch Ryder
- 1971 "It Ain't Easy / Long Neck Goose"
- 1972 "Rock and Roll / Box of Old Roses"(written by Lou Reed)
- 1972 "Ohh-La La La-Dee Da Doo / Gimme Shelter"
- Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
- 1966 Take A Ride (New Voice)
- 1966 Breakout! (New Voice)
- 1967 Sock It To Me (New Voice)
- 1967 All Mitch Ryder Hits (New Voice)
- 1967 All The Heavy Hits (Crewe)
- 1968 Mitch Ryder Sings The Hits (New Voice)
- Mitch Ryder
- 1967 What Now My Love (Dynovoice)
- 1969 The Detroit/Memphis Experiment (with Booker T and the MGs)
- 1979 How I Spent My Vacation (Line)
- 1980 Naked But Not Dead (Line)
- 1981 Live Talkies (Line)
- 1981 Got Change For A Million (Line)
- 1981 Look Ma, No Wheels (Quality)
- 1981 Greatest Hits (Quality)
- 1982 Smart Ass (Line)
- 1983 Never Kick a Sleeping Dog (Line)
- 1985 Legendary Full Moon Concert (Line)
- 1986 In The China Shop (Line)
- 1988 Red Blood, White Mink (Line)
- 1990 The Beautiful Toulang Sunset (Line)
- 1992 La Gash (Line)
- 1992 Live at the Logo Hamburg (Line)
- 1994 Rite Of Passage (with Engerling) (Line)
- 1999 Monkey Island (Line)
- 2003 The Old Man Springs a Boner (with Engerling) (Buschfunk)
- 2004 A Dark Caucasian Blue (with Engerling) (Buschfunk)
- 2006 The Acquitted Idiot (with Engerling) (Buschfunk)
- 2008 You Deserve My Art (with Engerling) (Buschfunk)
- 2009 Detroit Ain't Dead Yet
- 2009 Air Harmonie (with Engerling) (Buschfunk)
- 2012 The Promise
- Detroit Featuring Mitch Ryder
- 1971 Detroit (Paramount/MCA)
- "Hollywood, that's where I could've gone if I wasn't such a punk. If I just learned to bend over and say thank you a little more politely, it could've been great."—Mitch Ryder
- "There's six members on the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame board of directors and three of those men are my enemies. So what are my chances of getting in there?" —Mitch Ryder
- "The Ryder Stipulates". Detroit Metro Times. 2004-09-15. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "VH1 - Mitch Ryder biography". Vh1.com. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
- "Mitch Ryder Biography". Mitchryder.net. 2003. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Bman's Blues Report: New Release: Mitch Ryder - The Promise - Review". Bmansbluesreport.com. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Interview with Ted Nugent". Music-illuminati.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "Winona Ryder Biography". Netglimse.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 477. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Mitch Ryder official website
- "The Ryder stipulates," Metro Times Detroit, September 15, 2004
- The New Mitch Ryder On-Line Fan Site
- Transcription of 1970 Ryder interview with rock journalist Rick McGrath