William S. Levise, Jr (born 26 February 1945), known better by his stage name Mitch Ryder, is an American musician who has recorded more than two dozen albums during more than four decades. In 1978 Ryder came out and released the overtly gay solo album How I Spent My Vacation.
Ryder is noted for his gruff, wailing singing style and his dynamic stage performances. He was influenced by his father, a musician. As a teenager, Ryder sang backup with a Black soul-music 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...
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