Hang on Sloopy-1965
Sandwiched between the Beetle’s number 1 hits “Help!” and “Yesterday” were two newcomers. Barry McGuire and his #1 hit “Eve of Destruction”, and The McCoy’s with their ultra-cute hit single “Hang on Sloopy“.
Bert Russel co-writer of the song “My Girl Sloopy”, was also the writer of a number of earlier hits. These include “Twist and Shout”, “Here Comes the Night”, “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Piece of My Heart”. Bert was convinced that his song “My Girl Sloopy” could also be a hit. But he felt it needed to be performed by a group of four guys with Beetles haircuts. He went on a search and found a back-up band for the Strangeloves that fit the bill in Dayton Ohio. The band was called Rick and the Raiders led by 16 year old Rick D. Zehringer.
After the show, Rick was asked if they would like to go to New York the next day and record “My Girl Sloopy” After securing permission from his parents Rick said yes.
The group name had to be changed to The McCoys because Paul Revere and the Raiders were starting to have some success. Rick’s name was also changed by dropping the Z to Rick Deringer and “My Girl Sloopy” became “Hang On Sloopy”.
The song climbed to Number 1 the week of October 2,1965 before being bumped to #2 the following week by “Yesterday”. The McCoys had eight chart records through 1968 then became a house band for a New York night club.
Rick Deringer went on with a solo career and another hit in 1975 called “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”