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

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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. The girl Liz has fuller lips, eyes are farther apart, and her face looks wider at the cheeks also her nose is wider at the base.

  2. Arnie…could be. So many people are taking a look at the photos and the video that it would be nice to eventually get an answer. This is an amazingly popular topic online. The speculation seems to be down to two women, but the few photos I have seen of the other choice when she was younger have not persuaded me her way either. Eventually I expect to get a totally convincing… less speculative…answer.

  3. Hi, Love the song, love the dancer. If and when you find out for sure who the dancer is, please let me know. Thank you. Lilly

    1. Lillian….my video of the dancing girl is now getting 50,000 hits a day at youtube, and Lisa Dalton…who claims to be the dancer.. is commenting every week or so. I have left replies to her hoping she will instead of simply commenting contact me. If her story holds up I would be happy to acknowledge her role in the video at Puget Sound Media and YouTube. But I have had contacts from other sources claiming to be affiliated with the video so I need to talk to any such people before crediting them.

  4. Hi Steven,
    I have contacted Liz Brewer herself and she confirms she is the dancing girl in the video. I can send you a screenshot of her email to me if you like.

  5. Peter…I sent you a private email. That would be great if you can do that, that video of mine is getting 50,000 hits a day at YouTube, and the post here is getting many hits. Since at Puget Sound Media we like to solve media mysteries when we can your info would be much appreciated.

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