Hang On Sloopy – The McCoys | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1965

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

A friendly warning: This is a story with many players and twists, so hang on! In 1964, R&B group The Vibrations, who had charted big with Stranded In The Jungle in 1956 as the Jayhawks, reached #26 singing My Girl Sloopy. A year later The Strangeloves planned to follow-up I Want Candy with Sloopy, at the same time Canadians Little Caesar and The Consuls as well as England’s Dave Clark Five recognized Sloopy‘s hit potential. In a panic, the Strangeloves tagged local Ohio band Rick and the Raiders to record Sloopy using an existing instrumental track. A couple of days later, the boys – now named the McCoys after a 1960 Ventures’ song – laid down their vocals in Manhattan. On August 14th, both the McCoys and the Consuls entered the pop chart with Sloopy. The McCoys’ single quickly left its competition in the dust. A decade later the McCoys’ guitarist/singer Rick Zehringer, re-recorded Sloopy as Rick “Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo” Derringer.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Bob Feldman
  • Jerry Goldstein
  • Richard Gottehrer

Lyrics Written by:

  • Wes Farrell
  • Bert Berns


  • “Hang On Sloopy” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 2, 1965
  • “Hang On Sloopy” was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1965