1967 Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels – Too Many Fish In The Sea & Three Little Fishes
Mitch Ryder formed his first band while still in high school and later fronted the group Billy Lee & The Rivieras. That band met with little success until they began working with songwriter/producer Bob Crewe (who is probably best known for his work with the Four Seasons). Bob renamed the group Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and produced their albums and singles, beginning in 1965. They had three top ten singles in the next two years.
Several of the group’s hit records had been mash-ups of previous hits, and their second single in 1967 followed that tradition by mixing a song from the thirties with a recent Motown hit.
Jazz musician Saxie Dowell wrote the song Three Little Fishies, and a version by Kay Kyser and His Band topped the pop charts in 1939. Over time, various versions became popular children’s songs. Recent releases on children’s albums in the mid-sixties included Ray Walston (an actor from My Favorite Martian) in 1965 and Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee in 1966.
The Marvelettes reached #25 on the Hot 100 in 1965 with Too Many Fish In The Sea, a song written by the team of Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland.
Bob produced the mash-up single of the two songs for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1967, and it reached #25 on the Hot 100.
The band never reached the top forty again after that success. The Wheels disbanded in 1968 and Mitch continued performing as a solo act with the necessary backup musicians.
Mitch briefly retired from music after suffering throat damage in 1973. He returned to writing, recording, and performing in 1978 and is still active.
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