Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hang On Sloopy

In the mid 60s, a group called the Strangeloves were riding high with a song called I Want Candy. They'd been touring with the Dave Clark Five and had been playing a tune called Hang On Sloopy. The Dave Clark Five liked it so much they were about to record it. But the Strangeloves had other ideas. They gave it to an outfit called Rick and the Raiders, led by 17 year-old Rick Zehringer - later known as Rick Derringer - and they put it out under the name of The McCoys. In October 1965, it hit #1.

Of course Derringer went on to play with the Johnny and Edgar Winter bands, had a decent solo career marked by the hit Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo and has been an in-demand session guitarist, perhaps most notably with Steely Dan.

The song has since been adopted as the football fighting song of Ohio State University. And it's played at home games of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians, not to mention the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In 1985, the Ohio General Assembly designated Hang On Sloopy as the official rock song of Ohio.


  1. The official rock song? Damn, that would be interesting to know if other states have an official rock song. I'm checking into this. I may have to petition the state of Arizona. Now, what should our rock be? Hmmmmm. I'm on it!

  2. They were shamed into it after Washington State attempted to adopt Louie, Louie as their official State Rock and Roll Song in the mid-80s. Despite numerous attempts motions were never successfully passed. The Mariners, though, play it at every home game 7th inning stretch! Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...we gotta go now.

    Arizona song? Line Man For the County?