The Detroit Wheels

Last updated
The Detroit Wheels
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels 1966.JPG
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1966.
Background information
Also known as
  • Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels
  • Billy Lee and the Rivieras
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres
Years active1964 (1964)–1967 (1967)
Labels
Associated actsDetroit
Past membersSee members section.

The Detroit Wheels were an American rock band, formed in Detroit in 1964. They served as Mitch Ryder's backup band from 1964 to 1967.

Contents

The band had a number of top twenty hits in the mid-1960s before lead singer Ryder was enticed away by Bob Crewe with offers of a solo career, after which the group quickly dissolved. Two of its former members, Jim McCarty and Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, later reunited to establish the nucleus of a new band called The Rockets, after McCarty found some fame with the hard rock outfit Cactus.

History

The band had its origins in Detroit in the early 1960s. At this time, a young white singer by the name of William Levise, Jr., who was singing at a black soul club called The Village, met a rock & roll group which included McCarty, bassist Earl Elliot, and Badanjek. Levise decided to join the group and took the stage name of Billy Lee, and the band became Billy Lee and the Rivieras. After attracting attention from producer Bob Crewe while working as a support act to The Dave Clark Five, the group moved to New York to start recording. However, since another band had already recorded as The Rivieras, the band decided to change its name again. With the help of a phone book, Levise took the new stage name of Mitch Ryder, and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels were born. [1] The group's live performances are said to have had an "explosive quality" and their style has been described as "revved up...R&B". [2]

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels had their first big hit in 1965 with "Jenny Take a Ride", [1] which reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 1 on the R&B chart – the first time a self-contained rock group had achieved the latter distinction. [3] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. [4] Crewe had originally planned to release the track as a B-side, but changed his mind after seeing the reactions of Brian Jones and Keith Richards, of The Rolling Stones, who were in the Stei-Philips studio in New York City as it was being recorded.

Ryder and the Detroit Wheels followed up with another top twenty hit, "Little Latin Lupe Lu," which peaked at No. 17. After a couple of misses, the group had its biggest hit with the "Devil with a Blue Dress On"/"Good Golly Miss Molly" medley which reached No. 4. Around this period they also recorded a number of albums, largely composed of reworked R&B classics, along with a smattering of original compositions.

In 1967, Ryder had another top ten hit with "Sock It to Me, Baby!", which was banned by some stations as too sexually suggestive. The band had its last hit with the brassy "Too Many Fish in the Sea"/"Three Little Fishes" single, which reached No. 24. Crewe then persuaded Ryder to quit the group and embark on a solo career. [1]

After Ryder's departure, Badanjek fronted a short-lived band of the same name which recorded several tracks, most notably "Linda Sue Dixon", [5] a song glorifying the illicit hallucinogenic drug LSD, [3] which charted worldwide in 1968. They also recorded "Think (About the Good Things)/For the Love of a Stranger". [6] The band's line-up during this time is uncertain.

Ryder's solo career, meantime, had been mishandled and failed to take off. In 1969 he, Badanjek and some other musicians along with Mitch Ryder on vocals covering a number of the songs established a new band called The Band Detroit, which recorded an eponymous named album. One single was released from the album, a cover of Lou Reed's "Rock and Roll" that Reed reportedly liked better than his original version, and Reed subsequently hired Detroit guitarist Steve Hunter for his own band. [3] Detroit's follow-up tour to the album, however, met with little success, after which Ryder departed once again and the band broke up. The final lineup of the band featured harmonica player and powerhouse singer Rusty Day, who Ryder chose to replace him in 1972, and also featured pre-Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Steve "Crawdaddy" Gaines, guitarist Bill Hodgson of Shadowfax, drummer Ted "T-Mel" Smith of The Spinners, bassist Nathaniel Peterson of Twin Dragons, and keyboardist Terry Emery of the Moxie Band Atlanta. Steve Gaines died on Skynyrd's plane crash October 20, 1977. Also killed in the crash were Gaines's older sister Cassie, and Skynyrd founder and lead singer Ronnie VanZant. Rusty Day was murdered on June 3, 1982, at his own home in Longwood, Florida. Nobody knows who killed Day, and the case remains open even now. Bill Hodgson died around 1983 shortly after having moved to New York. Hodgson died due to what was confirmed to be a drug overdose, most likely accidental. Ted "T-Mel" Smith died of natural causes in 2006. Terry Emery joined the Moxie Band Atlanta in 1997, which he's remained in ever since. Nathaniel Peterson has been in several bands after The Band Detroit broke up, in particularly one that Peterson founded called Twin Dragons.

In 1972, Badanjek and former Wheels guitarist McCarty reunited to form the nucleus of a new group called The Rockets, which recorded a number of albums through the 1970s and 1980s. McCarty continues to perform today with his group, Mystery Train. John Badanjek remains active as well and still plays out with McCarty. McCarty also played with Rusty Day, Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice in the group Cactus.

Discography

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels

Take a Ride (1966)
1. Shake A Tail Feather
2. Come See About Me
3. Let Your Lovelight Shine
4. Just A Little Bit
5. I Hope
6. Jenny Take A Ride
7. Please, Please, Please
8. I'll Go Crazy
9. I Got You
10. Sticks And Stones
11. Bring It On Home To Me
12. Baby Jane (Mo-Mo Jane)
13. Joy

Re-released on the Sundazed Music Inc. label, ASIN B000003GX4.

Breakout...!!! (1966)
1. Walking The Dog
2. I Had It Made
3. In The Midnight Hour
4. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Jessie Hill)
5. I Like It Like That
6. Little Latin Lupe Lu
7. Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly
8. Shakin' With Linda
9. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
10. You Get Your Kicks
11. I Need Help
12. Any Day Now
13. Breakout

Re-released on the Sundazed Music Inc. label, ASIN B000003GX5.

Sock It To Me! (1967)
1. Sock It To Me-Baby
2. I Can't Hide It
3. Takin' All I Can Get
4. Slow Fizz
5. Walk On By
6. I Never Had It Better
7. Shakedown Listen Listen
8. A Face In The Crowd
9. I'd Rather Go To Jail
10. Wild Child
11. Too Many Fish In The Sea/Three Little Fishes
12. You Are My Sunshine
13. Ruby Baby & Peaches On A Cherry Tree

Re-released on the Sundazed Music Inc. label, ASIN B000003GX6.

All Mitch Ryder Hits! (1967. Collector's Edition with bonus tracks, 1993)
1. Devil With A Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly
2. Jenny Take A Ride
3. Joy
4. Breakout
5. In The Midnight Hour
6. Sock It To Me - Baby!
7. Little Latin Lupe Lu
8. Takin' All I Can Get
9. Too Many Fish In The Sea/Three Little Fishes
10. I'd Rather Go To Jail
11. Shake A Tail Feather
12. (You've Got) Personality/Chantilly Lace (bonus track)
13. Baby I Need Your Loving/Theme For Mitch (bonus track)

Re-released on the Sundazed Music Inc. label, ASIN B000003GXU.

The Detroit Wheels

The Band Detroit

The Band Detroit "featuring; Mitch Ryder" (1971 album). MCA label, ASIN B00004VPJG.

1. Long Neck Goose
2. Is It You (Or Is It Me)
3. Box of Old Roses
4. It Ain't Easy
5. Rock 'N' Roll
6. Let It Rock
7. Drink
8. Gimme Shelter*
9. I Found A New Love
*Bonus track on CD that was not on original album

Members

Their original members were:

In an offshoot of the band called Detroit, there was:

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 3 Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 388/9. ISBN   0-7535-0149-X.
  2. Official Mitch Ryder homepage.
  3. 1 2 3 The Ryder Stipulates, Metro Times.
  4. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p.  196. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  5. Carson, David A. (19 June 2006). "Grit, Noise, and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll". University of Michigan Press . Retrieved 14 June 2021 via Google Books.
  6. [ dead link ]

Related Research Articles

Mitch Ryder American musician

Mitch Ryder is an American musician who has recorded more than 25 albums over more than four decades.

The Amboy Dukes were an American rock band formed in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, and later based in Detroit, Michigan. They are known for their one hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind". The band's name comes from the title of a novel by Irving Shulman. In the UK, the group's records were released under the name of The American Amboy Dukes, because of the existence of a British group with the same name.

Good Golly, Miss Molly 1958 single by Little Richard

"Good Golly, Miss Molly" is a hit rock 'n' roll song first recorded in 1956 by the American musician Little Richard and released in January 1958 as Specialty single 624 and next in July 1958 on Little Richard. The song, a jump blues, was written by John Marascalco and producer Robert "Bumps" Blackwell. Although it was first recorded by Little Richard, Blackwell produced another version by the Valiants, who imitated the fast first version recorded by Little Richard, not released at that time. Although the Valiants' version was released first, Little Richard had the hit, reaching #4. Like all his early hits, it quickly became a rock 'n' roll standard and has subsequently been recorded by hundreds of artists. The song is ranked #94 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Robert Stanley Crewe was an American songwriter, dancer, singer, manager, and record producer. He was known for producing, and co-writing with Bob Gaudio, a string of Top 10 singles for the Four Seasons.

Jim McCarty (guitarist)

James William McCarty is an American blues rock guitarist from Detroit, Michigan. He has performed with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, the Buddy Miles Express, Cactus, The Rockets, the Detroit Blues Band, and more recently, Mystery Train. Since about 2014 Jim McCarty has joined forces with Detroit blues guitarist/songwriter Kenny Parker in The Kenny Parker Band along with several other veteran Detroit blues/rock musicians. He also makes guest appearances with other Detroit bands, most notably for an annual pre New Year's Eve party at one of his favorite clubs, "Callahan's", with The Millionaires, a nine piece jump blues band.

<i>Hammersmith Odeon London 75</i> 2006 live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 is a concert video and the fourth live album by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, released in 2006. It is a full-length recording of their performance on November 18, 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, during their Born to Run tours. It was first released as a DVD on November 14, 2005 as part of the Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package, and then several months later on February 28, 2006 released as an audio CD. The album was reissued on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day on April 22, 2017.

Cactus (American band)

Cactus is an American hard rock band formed in 1969 and currently comprising Jimmy Kunes as lead singer, guitarist Paul Warren, drummer Carmine Appice, bassist Jimmy Caputo and Randy Pratt on harmonica.

Rockets are an American rock band from Detroit, Michigan founded by guitarist Jimmy McCarty and drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, both former members of the group Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.

Detroit was a spinoff of rock group The Detroit Wheels. This revised version of that band was formed by Mitch Ryder as a successor to The Wheels in 1970. The only original Wheel in the group was the drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek; other members were guitarists Steve Hunter and Brett Tuggle, organist Harry Phillips and bassists W.R. Cooke and John Sauter. A single album was released by this grouping, a 1971 self-titled LP issued on Paramount Records. 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. Ryder quit the group because of voice problems in 1972, and Detroit vocalist Rusty Day took over his spot; without Ryder, the group floundered, and eventually broke up in 1974.

The Chicago Loop was an American rock group from Chicago, Illinois. The group consisted of Bob Slawson (vocals), Judy Novy (vocals), John Savanna, alternate touring (guitar), Barry Goldberg (piano), Carmine Riale (bass), and John Siomos (drums). In 1966, they released the single, "(When She Needs Good Lovin') She Comes to Me" b/w "This Must Be the Place" on DynoVoice Records. Some of the pressings of the single had an alternate title, "(When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes to Me". The song hit #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 late in 1966. The recording featured some notable session musicians; lead guitar was Michael Bloomfield, and the keyboard player was Barry Goldberg. Bob Crewe was the producer, and Riale, Slawson, and Siomos also formed the rhythm section of the touring group, The Mitch Ryder Show; Ryder's first solo tour after breaking with the Detroit Wheels.

Morly Grey is an American psychedelic rock band that formed in the late 1960s.

"Too Many Fish in the Sea" is a 1964 hit song recorded by Motown singing group The Marvelettes. It was the group's first top 40 pop hit in almost a year reaching number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was one of the first hit singles written by Norman Whitfield and was also written by Eddie Holland. "Too Many Fish..." was also Whitfield's first produced single.

<i>Let Them Eat Pussy</i> 1998 studio album by Nashville Pussy

Let Them Eat Pussy is the major label debut album by American rock and roll group Nashville Pussy, released on February 24, 1998. AllMusic, in a four-star review, said "Let Them Eat Pussy is all about sleaze, and it's the sleaziest record in years". The album helped to create a fanbase for the band, and the song "Fried Chicken and Coffee" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Metal Performance.

Devil with a Blue Dress On 1966 single by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels

"Devil with a Blue Dress On" is a song written by Shorty Long and William "Mickey" Stevenson, first performed by Long and released as a single in 1964. A later version recorded by Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels in 1966 peaked at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Johnny "Bee" Badanjek is an American musician, singer, songwriter and painter.

<i>Tower Theater, Philadelphia 1975</i> 2015 live album by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Tower Theater, Upper Darby 1975 is a live album by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, released in February 2015 and was the third official release through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The show was originally recorded at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania on December 31, 1975.

<i>Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980</i> 2015 live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980 is a live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, released in March 2015, and was the fourth official release through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The show was originally recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on December 31, 1980.

<i>Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984</i> 2015 live album by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984 is a live album by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, released in May 2015 and was the fifth official release through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The show was originally recorded live at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 5, 1984.

<i>Olympiastadion, Helsinki, July 31, 2012</i> 2017 live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Olympiastadion, Helsinki, July 31, 2012 is a live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, released on May 23, 2017. It is the thirteenth such release by the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The concert is notable for being, as of the time of its release, the longest by Springsteen and the band, at four hours and six minutes in length. The show also included a brief five-song acoustic set for fans who had arrived early; this is not included on the recording. The concert is the third full-length show from the Wrecking Ball Tour to be released, following Apollo Theater 3/09/12, a rehearsal for the tour, and Ippodromo delle Capannelle, Rome 2013.

<i>The Summit, Houston, TX December 8, 1978</i> 2017 live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

The Summit, Houston, TX December 8, 1978 is a live album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, released in September 2017, and is the eighteenth official release through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The show was recorded on December 8, 1978 at The Summit in Houston, TX during the Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour.

References