Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

Mitch Ryder Rocked the Pig Gig

One of the nice things about all of the summer activities in Bay City (Fireworks Festival, Pig Gig, River Roar etc.) is the fact that quite a few well-known Michigan artists have performed here as part of the festivities. In the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to see Tommy James & The Shondells, Mark Farner, ? And The Mysterians, and Ted Nugent on Bay City stages.


It was especially great that the legendary Mitch Ryder was chosen to close the 2009 Pig Gig with a Sunday night concert at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Backed by a hot young band featuring alternating lead guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, Ryder interspersed the hits that made him famous with original tunes – some of which were brand new and will soon appear on his upcoming CD produced by fellow Michigander Don Was.

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ARP - Owosso's Connection To Motown And The Beatles

Driving down W. King Street, located just a quarter mile north of Owosso’s business district, it seems almost inconceivable that this unpaved road containing a new housing development was once the location of a business that pressed some historic rock and roll records involving both Motown and The Beatles.

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"Think Rational!" The Rationals Finally Get Respect

Following in the footsteps of Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, the Rationals became the second Southeast Michigan garage band to have a charting single on the Billboard Hot 100. In November of 1966, the 'Rats' spent three weeks on the national chart with their explosive cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” after it had been picked up by Cameo Records for national distribution. The band had already had a regional hit with the song in Michigan on the small A-Square label during the late summer, almost nine months before Aretha Franklin had a # 1 smash with her version of “Respect” in 1967.

Read more: "Think Rational!" The Rationals Finally Get Respect