The McCoys

Hang on Sloopy

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New York producer Bert Berns apparently harbored a deep-seated fixation for zesty variations on the basic chords at the heart of "La Bamba." He recycled that same snappy Latin progression into national smashes for the Jarmels ("A Little Bit of Soap"), the Isley Brothers ("Twist and Shout"), and the Vibrations ("My Girl Sloopy") during the early '60s, sometimes writing under his Bert Russell pseudonym. Like "Twist and Shout" (originally waxed for Atlantic by a duo known as the Top Notes before Berns wisely handed it to the Isleys), "My Girl Sloopy" fared better on the charts in its second incarnation -- only when the McCoys tore into it for Berns' Bang imprint in 1965, it answered to the slightly amended title of "Hang on Sloopy." To be honest, the remake wasn't all that much of an improvement on the Vibrations' spirited original; the veteran R&B vocal quintet from Los Angeles brought the same sanctified passion to their 1964 Atlantic label hit that lit up "The Watusi," their 1961 dance rave-up for Checker, imparting melismatically charged harmonies over a Latin groove accentuated by snappy brass, bongos, and an organ (the audience noises sound a trifle contrived, however). Berns didn't produce the McCoys' version -- that honor went instead to Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer, who had been touring as a phony Aussie trio called the Strangeloves on the strength of their hit "I Want Candy." The clever threesome came across the precocious McCoys (then billed as Rick & the Raiders) when they backed the Strangeloves at a Dayton, OH, concert. Led by lead vocalist/ guitarist Rick Derringer (other members were Rick's brother, drummer Randy Zehringer; bassist Randy Hobbs; and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon), the quartet hustled back to New York to dub energetic vocals and a dazzling Derringer guitar solo over a backing track originally intended for the Strangeloves, changing their name along the route. Berns, needless to note, was delighted with the results and gave it a big bang of a send-off. He was rewarded with a pop chart-topper in the summer of 1965. The Chicago-based Ramsey Lewis Trio caught up with the number next, the classically trained pianist giving it his own easy-grooving jazz spin for the Chess subsidiary Cadet Records with a "Sloopy" cut live that October at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, CA. Its massive success made it three major hits in less than two years on the very same song (but rendered very differently).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1965 Sony Music Distribution 3:53
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 14 1976
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:01
No Image 1979
Various Artists
MCA 3:02
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:01
Classic Rock: 1965 1987
Various Artists
3:04
Oldies but Goodies, Vol. 2 [Box] 1987
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:01
All Hits # 1 1988
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment
Battle of the Bands, Vol. 1 [K-Tel] 1988
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:57
Best of 60's Party Rock 1988
Various Artists
Priority Records
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
Golden Oldies, Vol. 4 [Original Sound 1989] 1989
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:59
No Image 1990
TV Soundtrack
SBK Records
Dick Bartley Presents: One Hit Wonders of the '60s, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:53
Oldies But Goodies: 21 #1 Hits 1990
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:59
History of Rock: The Rockin' 60's - WCBS FM 101 1991
Various Artists
3:02
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
Grandson of Frat Rock!, Vol. 3 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 3:53
The Immediate Singles Collection, Vol. 2 1991
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:02
Dick Clark's All-Time Hits, Vol. 4 1994
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:58
The Immediate Singles Collection 1994
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:04
Hang on Sloopy: The Best of the McCoys 1995 Legacy Rock Artifacts Series / Epic / Legacy 3:51
Operation Dumbo Drop 1995
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 3:53
Greatest Hits of the Sixties, Vol. 1-2 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:02
Immediate R&B: Charly R&B Masters, Vol. 8 1995
Various Artists
Charly Records 3:05
Golden Oldies NonStop Party Mix 1996
Various Artists
ZYX Music 1:07
The People Vs. Larry Flynt [Music from the Motion Picture] 1996 EMI Angel / Angel Records
Whole Lotta Rock: 1964-1965 1997
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:51
Rock 'N Roll Relix: 1960-1969 1997
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 3:53
The Number Ones: The 60's 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 3:51
Beat Goes On [Rivie're] 1998
Various Artists
Riviere International Records 3:02
Chart Toppers: Rock Hits of the 60s 1998 Priority Records 3:03
#1 Hits of 1965-1969 1998
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 3:04
Frat Rock! 3 Pac 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:53
Killer Classic Rock 1998
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:59
DJ Don's Party Mix: Children's Party 1999
Various Artists
Power Records (Fitness / Dance) 3:51
Greatest Hits of the 60's [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:04
The 60's, Vol. 3 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:04
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:04
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:04
Classic '60s [Time Life] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:04
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:04
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 14 & 15 2000
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:01
The Immediate Singles Collection [Sequel/Castle] 2000
Various Artists
Sequel 3:04
Ohio State Greatest Hits 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 3:00
No Image 2000
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:04
Beat Boom 2001
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications 3:04
One Hit Wonders: Hard Two Get Hits [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
One Hit 3:04
A Year in Your Life: 1965, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 3:53
Golden Oldies, Vol. 4 [Original Sound 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:02
60's Pop Hits 2002
Various Artists
Immediate / Sony Music Distribution 3:04
Pure 60's: The #1 Hits 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:51
Then: Totally Oldies, Vol. 4 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varese 3:03
Box of Rock 2003
Various Artists
Import 3:05
On Your Radio [Box] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:52
One Hit Wonders: Who Hit #1 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:01
20 Best of 60s Rock 'n' Roll 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:01
I Love Rock & Roll, Vol. 20 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 3:03
Casey Kasem: The 60's #1 Pop Hits 2004
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:03
Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years - The Mid-'60s 2004
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 3:05
One Hit Wonders [St. Clair] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:00
60's Groovy Hits 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:59
World of Rock'n Roll, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:01
Sensational Sixties [BMG Special Products] 2006
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:04
#1 Hits of the Summer 2006
Various Artists
Collectables 3:03
100 Hits: 60s 2007
Various Artists
DMG / DMG TV 3:53
Top Of The Pops 1965 2007
Various Artists
BBC Music / EMI 3:53
101 Pirate Radio Hits 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:02
No Image 2010
Various Artists
Song Music / Sony Music Entertainment 3:53
Haynes Ultimate Guide to the 60s 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:53
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 3:52
Pure... 60s 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:53
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:54
'60s Music Revolution: Let the Sunshine In 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:54
300 Hits: Beach Party 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 3:01
60s U.S. Playlist
Various Artists
Crimson 3:04
Box of Rock [Disc 10]
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:05
Legends of Rock [Bigtime]
Various Artists
Big Time 3:02
Lost and Found: 1962-1969
Various Artists
EMI
On Your 60's Radio
Various Artists
Columbia 3:52
Party Rock: Dance To The Music
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:52
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:03