Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Nuggets - "Jenny Take a Ride", Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

It speaks volumes about Mitch Ryder that he would be featured here at Friday Nuggets and previously in our Soul Corner feature (Oct 2011 for his cover of "Devil With a Blue Dress On").

Ryder was from Hamtramck, the inner city suburb inside the Detroit boundaries. He, more than any artist of the 1960's, absorbed Detroit's rich soul and R&B history and its burgeoning rock'n'roll culture. And Ryder is a truly gifted singer, one of my personal all-time favorite rock vocalists.

And he was a powerhouse performer. Ryder had a very big influence on Bruce Springsteeen, Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp (who produced a Ryder album in the 1980's). It's even said that actress Winona Ryder took her stage name from one of his albums, a favorite in her Dad's collection (WYMA doesn't make this stuff up and doesn't even charge extra for this kind of valuable historical knowledge).

From a Nuggets/garage rock perspective, the great Mitch Ryder's high water mark may been this 1965 hit "Jenny Take a Ride", a turbo-charged rewrite of the 12 bar blues / 1920's standard "See See Rider":

I never get tired of the track. It's like a party in a bottle, open the top and the energy just leaps out of it. We cover a lot of current, young punk and garage bands here at WYMA but you'd be hard pressed to find something any more high octane rock than "Jenny Take a Ride".  And to think it was a top 5 radio single.

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