Sloopy Wives-Fact and Fiction

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When The McCoys had a giant hit with “Hang On Sloopy” in 1965, nobody would have guessed that 56 years later some 30 million viewers would instead be arguing about the short music film shot by Rick Derringer in 1975. Rick, the former lead singer of The McCoys and a prominent guitarist, was re-releasing the Sloopy song adding steel drums and a marimba. The attraction, more so than the cover of the song, was a mysterious and previously unidentified dancing girl.

The curious know that Puget Sound Media has been involved in searching for the Sloopy Girl dancer for about a year. The results of that investigation were released here, and in a YouTube video, two weeks ago. As expected, the public video, revealing that Lisa Leonard Dalton is the Sloopy Girl, has gone viral. Views have escalated to several thousand hits per day.

Lisa Leonard Dalton, “Sloopy Girl,” 2021

Although most viewers accept that Lisa Leonard Dalton is the Sloopy Girl, and several websites and YouTube channels are changing titles and labels to reflect that, there is yet another myth that is getting in the way of the truth. Unfortunately many bloggers, as a result of lack of research, have created a rumor that Liz Brewer in the UK was married to Rick Derringer from 1969 (for 22 years) and that she was the celebrated rock and pop culture journalist known to be Rick Derringer’s wife. That is wrong, inaccurate data has been easily spread online and in social media. Add to that, the information has been circulating wrong for ten years. And please, don’t anybody read this and suggest that Lisa was also married to Rick…she was not!

As far as Liz, fact is it was another Liz, an American, who was married to Rick Derringer. We will prove that here.  Liz “Agriss” Derringer, an American from New York, married Rick in 1969. The marriage lasted about 22 years. If that story sounds familiar, that is because the general scenario has been told before…but with the wrong Liz. The real life Liz Derringer was Rick Derringer’s first wife, and his ONLY wife with the name Liz. Let us establish he was married but three times. Fifteen years ago, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune interviewed Rick and they wrote the following:

“Derringer and his “third and last wife,” Jenda, are born-again Christians who clearly would rather not dwell on past rock ‘n’ roll excesses and successes.” (June 24, 2006.)

For those who have not studied the matter, I present documentation of that marriage. Ricky Zehringer (birth name) married Liz Agriss Derringer in 1969. Liz is a close friend of Bebe Buell (mother of actress Liv Tyler).

It’s established there were only three wives, so who are the other two? This information comes from other public records. The photos below are in order. Left we begin with photos of Liz “Agriss” Derringer in the early days married to Rick (photo from her Facebook page). Photos of that time in her life are often attributed, incorrectly so, to the wrong Liz. Beside that photo is a shot of Liz and Rick posing together at an event about ten years ago. The center glamour photo is the late Dyan Buckelew Derringer who married Rick in 1991. And the last photo is Rick’s current wife, Jenda, whom he married in 2000. All reports are that they are very happy together.

Left two photos: Elizabeth (Liz) Derringer. Center photo: Dyan Buckelew, Right photo: Rick and Jenda (Brenda Jean)

For anyone who might doubt that Rick was married to this Liz, simply go to Facebook and search for Elizabeth Derringer. She has a public page with lots of information, photos of rock stars and with Rick and interesting rock and roll stories. She lives on the East Coast USA. Her current husband confirmed at this site that she had been the Liz married to Rick Derringer and that she NEVER had Brewer as part of her name. In case this starts rumors that she danced, he also said that his wife Liz was NOT the Sloopy dancer. He said it was a backlot girl at a studio and Rick could not identify her.

For those still doubting, on the other side of the pond, while Rick was married to Liz Agriss Derringer, Liz Brewer married John Rendall in 1978 (click HERE). She is now divorced, but since the dates of the two marriages coincided for several years, again that precludes that Rick and the Liz in the UK were married…..and remember we know he was only married to one Liz and not two. Bloggers have, for many years now, had these ladies mixed up. It is not the fault of either woman, it is all the fault of sloppy bloggers (blogging is not news reporting) and then other bloggers repeat what they read.

Two of the photos above are included in this next montage that was designed to stand on its own so I can link to it in the future.

In the early days, I can see how people could confuse the two ladies named Liz. They look quite different now. To further the debate, the real wife Liz Derringer does not have a British accent, it is East Coast USA. Earlier this year she was interviewed on Zoom, along with Bebe Buell. The ladies told personal stories and spoke of their lives. I have the full interview, however the channel that originally posted it has since made the segment private…so I will not re-post what I have. That would go against their wishes. I know that in the full interview Liz stated she was married to Rick Derringer from 1969 for about 22 years. And she told many stories of her marriage to Rick and all of their rock and roll adventures. Fortunately, a segment of the interview is still online. It seems like anyone viewing and listening to this will realize this is not a British lady. To be clear, I have no issue with Liz in the UK. She seems nice and she has been very polite to me. It is just that the internet has so messed up the whole story of Rick’s wives, that history must be corrected.

This is the short segment of Liz Derringer, the lady who was married to Rick for 22 years. She was on Zoom with the channel “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.” That channel gets pretty wild at times, and this story is absolutely not G-rated entertainment…just to let you know. It does, however, bring home the point that this lady is a different Liz…and she is the lady who was married to Rick Derringer. It doesn’t take long to figure that out listening to her, but if kids are around (hint) you might not want to listen for very long.

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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. View other articles by Steven Smith

7 thoughts on “Sloopy Wives-Fact and Fiction

  1. Thank you for taking the time to sort and post this. I have found so many pictures online that professional photographers have available,
    Getty Images, Alama, Shutterstock. Those are correct as far as the company having named the women, it is when you do a broad google search that you start seeing pictures from the bloggers you speak about. To go back and change information that has gone uncorrected for that long is going to take some time, but I have been keeping up with your stories and watching the counts. It is amazing! I am also amazed at how quickly Lisa Leonard Dalton is becoming a household name and you can literally see it taking over.
    I am so happy that this story is getting told. Good job.

    1. Thanks for posting that video…It is relatively rare, for those ladies involved with the crazy, Rock and Roll lifestyle of the 60s, 70s and 80s, to really tell some of those off-the-wall stories….It is more typical for folks like Rick Derringer, and his born-again wife, to simply refuse to face the reality of their past lives…Hypocrisy is rampant these days!

      1. Jack….glad you liked it. This whole misidentification of the Lizzes is bad for the real Liz Derringer too. She was a major pop culture writer, but her credit is often given to Liz in the UK…who is accomplished in her field, but it is not as a rock and roll journalist.

    2. Thank you Ginger. I suspect that when we realize that the photos of the dancer in the video are Lisa Leonard Dalton…not either Liz. And if we also realize that all of the early photos listed online as Rick and Liz Brewer are actually Liz Agriss with Rick, I am doubting that anyone anywhere has a real time photo of Rick with Liz in the UK…other than maybe two separate photos of them pasted together.

  2. Oh, man, Lisa Leonard Dalton!

    75 was, in real life imagery, just as it is in that video. Her style, presence, and beguiling smile as she moves in congruence with the music and times in which the filming took place. Enchanting woman, and there’s no surprise that these revelations are making such huge waves.

    I saw Rick Derringer at, I believe it was called Annabelle’s at the time (the club’s name changed so many times), in the mid to late eighties, located on PCH on the border of Torrance and Redondo Beach at Palos Verdes Boulevard. It was a great show, and his wife was his backup singer – I remember that distinctly, thinking that the tour was basically operated on a shoestring. It was however, my opportunity to see the Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo artist who I first discovered as a contributing musician on the Edgar Winter album, They Only Come Out at Night, with a very small picture of him on the album cover.

    I also remember thinking that the performance of his “backup singer” was rather lackluster, and detracted somewhat from the performance of both him and his band. Now… was she, the backup singer, really his wife? I do not know for sure, as I can’t really remember whether Derringer introduced her as such or if one of my friends attending with me told me.

  3. Bradley…Rick’s actual first wife…Liz Agriss Derringer…not to be confused with Liz in the UK was a rock journalist and a close associate of Andy Warhol. She is also close to Bebe Buell, mom of Liv Tyler, who sings. But I think Liz stuck to writing and public relations. I doubt she was singing. Her talents were elsewhere from what I have learned.

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