The Detroit Wheels were an American rock group from Detroit, Michigan. They served as Mitch Ryder's backup band from 1964–1967, and played on all his most successful records. Their original members were:

  • Mitch Ryder (percussion & lead vocals)
  • Jim McCarty (lead guitar)
  • Joseph Kubert (rhythm
  • Earl E. Elliott (bass)
  • John Deleon drums
  • Jim McCallister (bass) replaced Earl Elliot in 1966, pictured on album displayed on this page.
  • Johnny "Bee" Badanjek (drums)

In later lineups of the band were:

  • Rusty Day (percussion, harmonica, lead vocals, & backup vocals)
  • Steve Gaines (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, lead vocals, & backup vocals)
  • Terry Emery (organ, keyboard, piano, lead vocals, & backup vocals)
  • Nate Penderson (lead guitar & rhythm guitar)
  • W. Ron Cooke (bass guitar, lead vocals, & backup vocals)
  • Teddy "T-Mel" Smith (bass guitar & backup vocals)
  • Bill Hodgeson (drums, percussion, lead vocals, & backup vocals)

The band had a number of top twenty hits in the mid-1960s before lead singer Ryder was enticed away by Bob Crewe with offers of a solo career, after which the group quickly dissolved. Two of its former members, McCarty and Badanjek, later reunited to establish the nucleus of a new band called The Rockets, after Jim McCarty found some fame with the hard rock outfit Cactus.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1966 Breakout...!!! 2
1966 Take a Ride 3
1967 Sock It to Me 2
1990 Rev Up 1
Jenny Take a Ride 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1985 Greatest Hits 1
1989 Rev Up: The Best of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels 4 3
1997 Detroit Breakout! An Ultimate Anthology 1
2004 Devil With A Blue Dress On 1
36 All-Time Favorites 1
The Rockin' Hits of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1967 Sock It to Me 1

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