It was All Right: Mitch Ryder's Life in Music

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Wayne State University Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 234 pages
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Songs performed by Detroit rocker Mitch Ryder, such as "Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Jenny Take a Ride" are among the most well loved of the twentieth century, but his fascinating life story is unknown to many. It Was All Right is a portrait of Ryder built on firsthand "road stories"--a rock-and-roll travelogue that is also an insider's look at fame and popular culture in America.

Born in 1945 in Hamtramck, Michigan, Ryder has been in the music business for 47 years, made more than two dozen albums' worth of recordings, and given upward of 8,000 performances. In It Was All Right, author James A. Mitchell has collected an impressive array of anecdotes from Ryder's extraordinary life in music, including Ryder's stories of his first gigs in Greenwich Village clubs, singing with a black trio in the early days of the civil rights movement, jamming with Jimi Hendrix, and attending private parties thrown by the Beatles. Mitchell also chronicles Ryder's more recent career, as he struggled to regain his popularity among American audiences after the 1970s and returned home to the Detroit music scene in the 1980s.

In all, Ryder's abundant commentary and Mitchell's easy narration combine to give readers a fast-paced tour of a turbulent musical journey that is still unfolding. Whether blending musical genres or dabbling in political activism, Ryder's one-of-a-kind experiences will intrigue music fans and anyone interested in musical or cultural history.


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part one From Detroit Michigan Mitch Ryder
part two Second Acts
encore A Musical Review

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About the author (2008)

James A. Mitchell is a writer and community journalist based in southeast Michigan. He is also the author of Applegate: Freedom of the Press in a Small Town and the forthcoming But For the Grace: Profiles in Peace From a Nation at War, based on his travels to an orphanage in Sri Lanka's war-torn northeast.

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