The McCoys were a rock group formed in Union City, Indiana, United States, in 1962. They are best known for their 1965 hit single “Hang on Sloopy”. Their name was changed from Rick and the Raiders to The McCoys, taken from the B-side of The Ventures’ hit record “Walk, Don’t Run” titled “The McCoy”.
The original members were all from Union City; however, the Zehringer boys were initially from Fort Recovery, Ohio. The band members were guitarist and lead singer Richard Zehringer (later known as Rick Derringer), his brother Randy (later known as Randy Z) on drums, and bassist Dennis Kelly. This first line-up was known as The Rick Z Combo, and later known as Rick and the Raiders. When Kelly left for college, the Zehringers were joined by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, saxophonist Sean Michaels, and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon. This was the line-up that took the name of “The McCoys”. Brandon left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Bobby Peterson on keyboards.
Their best-known hit is “Hang On Sloopy”, which was #1 in the United States in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in October 1965 and is the official rock song of the state of Ohio. It also is the unofficial fight song of the Ohio State University Buckeyes and can be heard being played at many Ohio State athletic events by the OSU bands. Sales of the single in the US alone were over one million copies. Other hits include a top 10 cover of “Fever” (Billboard #7) and a top 40 cover of Ritchie Valens’s “Come On, Let’s Go” (Billboard #21).
A cover of “Sorrow”, the B-side of their version of “Fever”, was a hit in the United Kingdom for The Merseys and later covered by David Bowie. Its opening line, “with your long blonde hair and eyes of blue” was quoted by George Harrison in the fadeout of “It’s All Too Much”, featured on the 1969 soundtrack of Yellow Submarine.
“The McCoys” performed as part of Murray the K’s Christmas show on December 18,1965 at the Brooklyn Fox Theater. Also performing on the program were Peter & Gordon, Wilson Pickett, The Fortunes, The Moody Blues, The Toys, Lenny Welch, Cannibal and the Headhunters, The Vibrations, The Spinners, The O’Jays, Bloodless Revolutionaries, Patti Michaels, Bobby Diamond,and Diane Langan.
The two Zehringer brothers (then known as Rick Derringer and Randy Z) and Hobbs became Johnny Winter’s band for the albums Johnny Winter And and Live Johnny Winter And in 1970 and 1971 respectively. As backing musicians, both Derringer and Hobbs contributed to Winter’s later releases Still Alive and Well (1973), Saints & Sinners (1974), and John Dawson Winter III (1974). Derringer and Hobbs later played with Edgar Winter as well as appeared on Together: Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter Live (1976). Hobbs later toured with Johnny Winter, but without Derringer, on Winter’s Captured Live! (1976). Derringer also played with Steely Dan and Cyndi Lauper and formed bands such as DNA, with drummer Carmine Appice.
Hobbs died of drug-related heart failure on 5 August 1993 (Derringer’s birthday) at the age of 45. Peterson died in Gainesville, Florida on 21 July 1993 at the age of 47.
Hang On Sloopy is the debut studio album by The McCoys, released in 1965. It reached #44 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.
The album featured two singles: “Hang On Sloopy”, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Fever”, which reached #7. (by wikipedia)
The McCoys’ debut album in 1965 was less a unified collection than it was a classic single, the title tune “Hang on Sloopy,” which featured the singing and guitar playing of a young Rick Derringer, surrounded by a lot of likeminded filler, although a couple of the tracks, most notably the relatively ambitious “Don’t Worry Mother” and the striking “Sorrow,” which sported a lovely melody, rose well above the generic feel of the rest of the album. That’s still the case some 40-plus years later. (by Steve Leggett)
A real crazy mix between Beat, Folk and R & B, Blues … and the start of the great career of Rick Derringer !
Ronnie Brandon (organ)
Randy Hobbs (bass)
Randy Zehringer (drums)
Rick Zehringer (bass, vocals)
01. Meet the McCoys 1.41
02. Hang On Sloopy (Farrell/Russell) 3.04
03. Fever (Cooley/Davenport) 2.51
04. If You Tell A Lie (Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer) 2.00
05. I Don’t Mind (Brown) 2.40
06. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow (Gaye/Stevenson/Gordy) 2.20
07. I Can’t Help Fallin’ In Love (Peretti/Creatore/Weiss) 2.09
08. All I Really Want To Do (Dylan) 1.58
09. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Brown) 2.03
10. I Can’t Explain It (Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer) 2.31
11. High Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 3.07
12. Stormy Monday Blues (Walker) 4.13