Mitch Ryder (born William S. Levise Jr., February 26, 1945, in Hamtramck, Michigan) is an American musician who has recorded over two dozen albums in more than four decades as a performer.
Ryder is noted for his gruff, wailing singing style, much influenced by Little Richard, and his dynamic stage performances, influenced by James Brown. As a teen, Ryder sang backup in a black soul 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 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", their highest-charting single at #4, as well as "Sock it to Me-Baby!", a #6 hit in 1967, and "Jenny Takes A Ride!", which reached #10 in 1965.