Dorothy Sloop

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Dorothy Sloop (September 26, 1913 – July 28, 1998), also later known as Dorothy Sloop Heflick, was an American jazz pianist who performed with female jazz bands. A native of Ohio, her nickname was Sloopy,[1] and she was likely the inspiration behind the song "Hang On Sloopy" by the rock band The McCoys.[2] The No. 1 single became the official rock song of Ohio in 1985 and is used by the Ohio State University marching band.[2]

December 1948 listing for "Dixie's Bar of Music" featuring "Dottie Sloop".
Dixie's Bar of Music on Bourbon Street, New Orleans, 1964

Early life[edit]

She was born into a Catholic family in Steubenville, Ohio.[2] She learned piano as a youth and began performing in local theaters as young as age six, including a concert with another Steubenville native, Dean Martin.[2] She studied for a year at Ohio University.


Sloop left college and moved to New York City where she formed a jazz quartet, the Southland Rhythm Girls, with singer and clarinetist Yvonne "Dixie" Fasnacht.[2] They moved to Fasnacht's hometown New Orleans, Louisiana, and played in Dixie's Bar of Music, a bar on Bourbon Street owned and run by Fasnacht. In 1957, they recorded the album Dixie and Sloopy.[3]

Sloop returned to Steubenville, and she earned her college degree and later a master's degree.[2] For 30 years, she taught special education in St. Petersburg, Florida. She continued to perform on jazz piano into her 70s.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Sloop was married once, to Joe Boudreaux.[2] They moved to Steubenville, then divorced.[2] Their daughter Jane Heflick was given a different surname, the maiden name of one of Dorothy's grandmothers.[2]

Dorothy Sloop died at age 85 in 1998.[2]


  1. ^ "How well do you know 'Sloopy'?". Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-23.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Boomer Magazine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Joy, Kevin (26 September 2013). "Mystery surrounds Steubenville native who inspired 'Hang On Sloopy'". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  3. ^ Tucker, Sherrie (2004). "Rocking the Cradle of Jazz: Women who changed the face of music". Ms. Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 October 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2016.