Found Performance: “Hang On Sloopy” (1965 radio hit)

Original 45 rpm record sleeve, 1965

As a kid, living in the NW corner of Washington State, I had great reception of Canadian radio stations. Those of us looking for an AM Top-40 radio station in 1965 and ’66 often heard the sound of  C-FUN out of Vancouver, BC. The intro to this video harks back to those days.

“Hang On Sloopy” was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1965.  Usually I post a very early rendition of a “Found Performance.” This is an exception. I have two 1965 appearances by the original “McCoys.” But the video I chose is actually from 1975 and it will get your attention. It has a cult following.

At the time, McCoys’ vocalist, Rick Derringer, was filming a music video to promote a remake of the hit single “Sloopy.” But it wasn’t the new ’75 incarnation of the song that got the fan’s attention. It was the dancing girl. The premise was this: During the film shoot, a gorgeous girl in a revealing outfit strolls by and embarks on a sexy and captivating dance routine.

You don’t have to be a detective to debunk that theory. Girls like this don’t just wander down the street into a film. This girl was obviously no ordinary passerby. According to the most common story, she was one Liz Brewer — often described as a “rock journalist.” The story continues that she became Liz Derringer, wife of Rick Derringer, until they divorced some 20 years later. At Puget Sound Media we have found holes in that online narrative and we’re making progress as we pursue a positive ID of the mysterious dancing girl. At this point we have been in direct contact with one of the ladies who is, perhaps, most likely to be the dancer. And we have been attempting to contact another. We are presently working on an update that will reveal new evidence in this quest for the elusive dancer.

Several music tracks have accompanied this video in its online life. In this case I added the 1965 hit version of “Sloopy” the 1975 video. I lip synced it, although they changed the tempo and some of the words in the 1975 song, so sync is not perfect.

Other records by The McCoys that received significant radio airplay included “Fever,” “Sorrow,” and “Come On Let’s Go.” Rick Derringer also produced records and played lead guitar with Edgar and Johnny Winter in the 1970s. He had a solo hit with “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” in 1974 (Billboard Hot 100 peak position #23).

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Steven Smith

Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

28 thoughts on “Found Performance: “Hang On Sloopy” (1965 radio hit)

  1. Liz’ maiden name was Brewer. There is very little info on Liz since a 2012 interview on If Liz Derringer remarried, it is a very well kept secret.

  2. I present this comment in the realm of not very important but sort of intriguing. I knew this “Found Performance” video I posted back in May was historically popular. In my take on it, I substituted the original 1966 version of Sloopy as the sound track vs. a mid-70s variation when Rick Derringer of the original McCoys formed a new band called “Derringer.” So the video is that band, the audio is the hit. In looking at the stats, here at PSM, this Found Performance has been viewed probably 3x more than my other “music video” Found Performances. And over at youtube, where I host this one, it has approaching 8000 hits…again that’s way beyond my other music related videos. Bottom line: it is popular. Probably because of the sexy girl, but also there are argumentative aspects. The main theory espoused was that the dancing girl, identified as Liz Brewer (wife of Rick Derringer at the time) later became the Liz Brewer who is now a party planner and socialite in the UK. I think that is false and is fed in part because when viewing the Sloopy video….youtube recognizes the name Liz Brewer and feeds teasers for videos featuring the UK woman of that same name. I initially thought they might be one and the same but that I no longer believe. If you care enough to wonder why, then look at the many comments here. One of the credible comments was from a man who said he lived by Rick and Liz and he for sure said that was her dancing and that she WAS NOT the Brit. Today youtube sent me a message that someone had commented that the dancer was not Liz Brewer, it was a woman named Lisa Dalton. I googled her name and there is a dancer of that name. However, unless I hear otherwise in a convincing manner….and I just might with all the comments at youtube and here…I believe that Rick’s wife Liz was the dancer. Now I am not a police ID specialist. But, with the help of Jason a few months back, we found a photo from a fan magazine of Rick’s wife Liz Brewer taken around the same time the video was produced. There are enough points of similarity between the two photos (real Liz and dancing girl) to persuade me that the dancer is the Liz Brewer Derringer who was married to Rick Derringer. See what you think in the mash-up at the link below. Liz from the fan mag left, dancing girl in a similar pose at the right.

  3. Same chick. (I am a sexist beast) There is no doubt when you look at the two. I am not a forensics specialist, but I play one on tv.

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