Say It's Your Birthday: Mitch Ryder

Last year on this day the ATN Birthday Bureau attended a

surprise 50th birthday party thrown for Mitch Ryder at the fashionable Mister

B's restaurant in trendy Troy, Michigan. The original blue-eyed soul man (who

was born William Levise, Jr. in the Detroit borough of Hamtramck, Michigan) was

surprised by an array of friends and roasters that include Detroit Wheel

drummer Johnny B., Bob Seger manager Punch Andrews, Cub Koda of Brownsville

Station, Mitch's close personal friend Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian (whom the

singer celebrated in his 1994 song "Mercy") and ever present attorney Jeffrey

Fieger (brother of Knack singer Doug Fieger). A year later, Dr. Kevorkian is on

trial but Mitch Ryder continues to breathe just fine at 51. He'll pop up every

now and again with Wheels Johnny B. and guitarist Jim McCarty to deliver

versions of "Devil With A Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly," "Jenny Take A

Ride," and "Sock It My Baby!," that'll still shake the paint off your walls. He

also keeps a steady stream of more introspective solo records coming on various

European labels, behind which he tours extensively. He also has hosted his own

radio program. Dr. Death has no professional business with Mitch Ryder just

yet, thank you. Other birthdays are Fats Domino, Johnny Cash, Bob "The Bear"

Hite of Canned Heat, Paul Cotton of Poco, Jonathan Cain of Journey, and the

mighty Michael Bolton.