|Origin||Union City, Indiana, U.S.|
|Genres||Pop rock, beat music|
|Associated acts||The Strangeloves|
|Past members||Rick Derringer (Zehringer)
Randy Z (Zehringer)
Randy Jo Hobbs
The original members were all from Union City; however, the Zehringer boys were initially from Fort Recovery, Ohio. Guitarist and lead singer Richard Zehringer (later known as Rick Derringer), his brother Randy (later known as Randy Z) on drums, and bassist Dennis Kelly. This first line-up was known as "The Rick Z Combo", and later known as "Rick and the Raiders". When Kelly left for college, the Zehringers were joined by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, saxophonist Sean Michaels, and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon. This was the line-up that took the name of "The McCoys". Brandon left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Bobby Peterson on keyboards.
One of their best-known songs is "Hang On Sloopy", which was #1 in the United States in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in October 1965 and is the official rock song of the state of Ohio. It also is the unofficial fight song of The Ohio State University Buckeyes and can heard being played at many Ohio State athletic events by the OSU bands. American sales alone were over one million copies. Other hits include a Top 10 cover of "Fever" (Billboard #7), and a Top 40 cover of Ritchie Valens's "Come On Let's Go" (Billboard #21).
A cover of "Sorrow", the B-side of their version of "Fever", was a hit in the United Kingdom for The Merseys and was later covered again by David Bowie. Its opening line, "with your long blonde hair and eyes of blue" was quoted by George Harrison in the fadeout of "It's All Too Much", featured on the 1969 Yellow Submarine film soundtrack album.
The two Zehringer brothers (then known as Rick Derringer and Randy Z) and Hobbs became Johnny Winter's band for the albums Johnny Winter And and Live Johnny Winter And in 1970 and 1971 respectively. As backing musicians, both Derringer and Hobbs contributed to Winter's later releases, Still Alive and Well (1973), Saints & Sinners (1974) and John Dawson Winter III (1974). Derringer and Hobbs later played with Edgar Winter, as well as appearing on the Together: Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter Live album (1976). Hobbs later toured with Johnny Winter, but without Derringer, resulting in Winter's Captured Live! album (1976). Derringer also played with Steely Dan and Cyndi Lauper, among others, in addition to forming later bands such as DNA, with drummer Carmine Appice.
Hobbs died of drug-related heart failure on 5 August 1993 (Derringer's birthday), at the age of 45. Peterson died in Gainesville, Florida, on 21 July 1993, at the age of 47.
Discography with Billboard chart peak positions
|Year||Album||Billboard 200||Record Label|
|1965||Hang on Sloopy||44||Bang Records|
|1966||You Make Me Feel So Good||–|
|1968||Infinite McCoys||–||Mercury Records|
Both sides from same album except where indicated
|Label & number||Chart Positions||Album|
|1965||"Hang on Sloopy"
b/w "I Can't Explain It"
|Bang 506||1||1||5||Hang on Sloopy|
|1966||"Up and Down"
b/w "If You Tell a Lie" (from Hang On Sloopy)
|Bang 516||46||50||-||Non-album track|
|"Come On, Let's Go"
b/w "Little People"
|Bang 522||22||17||-||You Make Me Feel So Good|
|"(You Make Me Feel) So Good"
|"Don't Worry Mother, Your Son's Heart Is Pure"
|Bang 532||67||60||-||Non-album tracks|
|1967||"I Got to Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance)"
b/w "Dynamite" (from You Make Me Feel So Good)
|"Beat the Clock"
b/w "Like You Do to Me"
|"Say Those Magic Words"
b/w "I Wonder If She Remembers Me" (Non-album track)
|Bang 549||-||-||-||You Make Me Feel So Good|
|Mercury 72843||98||94||-||Infinite McCoys|
|Mercury 72897||-||-||-||Human Ball|
|1969||"Love Don't Stop"
b/w "Only Human"
|"Don't Fight It"
b/w "Rosa Rodrigues"
|Mercury 72967||-||-||-||Non-album track|
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