Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

By Gary: I talked a little about Blue Eyed Soul last night.  So I’m kinda still in the same vane.  In the mid sixties, the British Invasion was in full swing, Soul was still strong in Toronto and this very Loud and Rocking Band came out of Michigan.  It’s leader had a gravely voice and was loud (I have always liked it loud), but they could Rock, and Rock they did.  I was a fan from the very first time I heard them.  Now people who liked the softer more gently produced records of the day, probably did not like this group, but they took me back to the hard edge of Rock and Roll.



William S. Levise Jr., February 26, 1945


Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

Video 1966:


1966 / C.C. Rider / Jenny Take a Ride/ Hullabaloo / 
1979 / Germany / Rock and Roll /
1983 / with John Cougar /
2011 / Little Latin Lupe Lu /
2012 / Devil with the Blue Dress / Auburn Hills Michigan /
PBS Special /
Heart of Stone /

1.   Jenny take a Ride/ New Voice 806/ January 1966/ #10


2.   Little Latin Lupe Lu/ New Voice 808/ March 1966/ #17


3.   Devil with the Blue Dress & Good Golly Miss Molly/ New Voice 817/ #4


4.   Sock it to Me-Baby!/ New Voice 820/ February 1967/ #6


5.   Too Many Fish in the Sea & Three Little Fishes/ New Voice 822/ May 1967


I am only dealing with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, not Mitch by himself.  Here are a couple of other Songs I liked

6.   Shake a Tail Feather


7.   Turn on your Lovelight


8.   I got You (I feel good)

Mitch Ryder (born William S. Levise Jr., February 26, 1945, in Hamtramck, Michigan) is an American musician.

Ryder is noted for his gruff, wailing singing style, much influenced by Little Richard, and his dynamic stage performances, influenced by James Brown.

Ryder first appeared fronting a band called Billy Lee & The Rivieras, which had limited success until they met the songwriter / record producer, Bob Crewe. Crewe renamed the group Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, and they recorded several hit records on his DynoVoice Records label in the mid to late 1960s, most notably “Devil With A Blue Dress On”.

Since the early 1970s, Ryder’s musical endeavours have not met with the same success that they did before. Ryder himself has blamed his lack of subsequent hits on his unsuccessful aim at the Tom Jones-type cabaret/night club audience just as the counterculture was becoming dominant in 1967 and 1968. His last successful release was Mitch Ryder’s Detroit in 1971, which featured the drummer from the original Detroit Wheels, now called Detroit, updating his soul music-influenced sound to the 1970s hard rock era.

He has continued to record and tour but comebacks have eluded him. Ryder’s influence is felt in the music of Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen among others.




3 responses to “Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

  1. In my experience, he was tearing up the clubs in the late 1970s, but met with mixed audience reactions, including my date at the time:

  2. He recently played at the Ottawa Bluesfest, where the preceding act was Cactus, with Jim McCarty. I was hoping that Mitch and Jim would use this opportunity to play some of the classics together. Didn’t happen:


    Mitch Ryder appeared at Teenage Dance Clubs in the Pittsburgh area a fellow friend and Radio Disc Jockey named BOB MACK had him at his numerous Dances. Great group to see.



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