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Mitch Ryder Involved in Car Crash

Mitch Ryder

Mitch Ryder, who merged rock and soul in the mid-’60s with hits like ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On,’ was involved in a car crash on Friday (Feb. 1) night. Neither Ryder nor his wife nor a third passenger in the car were seriously hurt.

Ryder was driving to his home in South Lyon, Mich. after performing at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills. At around midnight, roughly a mile and a half from their house, a pickup truck coming in the opposite direction swerved into Ryder’s lane.

“I saw the headlights going for us and I had a split second to either drive towards oncoming traffic or towards the ditch,” he told the Detroit News.

Despite Ryder’s quick action, it wasn’t enough to prevent the pickup truck from hitting the front driver side of his Buick. Fortunately, the air bags did their job and most likely saved their lives. Still, Ryder’s wife was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and kept until Sunday night for observation.

The driver of the pickup truck, who claimed the swerve was the result of trying to adjust the radio, failed sobriety tests.

Beginning in 1965, Ryder, both with the Detroit Wheels and later as a solo act, had a string of hits, most of which were rock covers of soul songs. His blue-collar merging of the two sounds was highly influential on such rock legends as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger. Springsteen used Ryder’s biggest hit, ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly,’ as the blueprint for his ‘Detroit Medley,’ a staple of his live shows from 1975-88.

Next: Top 10 Classic Rock Covers of Soul Songs

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