Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hang on Sloopy! O-H-I-O

I'm getting into high gear for the BCS National Championship Game Monday between my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and LSU's Tigers so I thought I'd share a bit of trivia.
Those of y'all who are fans of Big 10 Football are probably familiar with the excellent Ohio State Marching Band, aka The Best Damn Band in the Land, and its ever-popular rendition of "Hang on, Sloopy" but unless you're an Ohioan, you may not know it's history here in the Buckeye State.

"Hang on, Sloopy" was co-written by Bert Russell and Wes Farrell. In 1965, it became a major hit for The McCoys who were originally from Dayton, Ohio. The song was about singer Dorothy Sloop, a native of Steubenville, Ohio (also the home town of Dean Martin) who sometimes used the stage name, "Sloopy."

Joe Dirck, columnist for the Columbus Citizen-Journal (now The Columbus Dispatch), wrote a column about the State of Washington considering establishing an official rock song which never materialized. In 1985, the Ohio legislature responded and adopted a resolution making "Hang on Sloopy" our official rock song and the only state with an official rock song.

Here is the resolution which shows what a great sense of humor our representatives at the Statehouse in Columbus can have:


WHEREAS, The members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio wish to recognize the rock song "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of the great State of Ohio; and

WHEREAS, In 1965, an Ohio-based rock group known as The McCoys reached the top of the national record charts with "Hang On Sloopy," composed by Bert Russell and Wes Farrell, and that same year, John Tagenhorst, then an arranger for The Ohio State University Marching Band, created the band's now-famous arrangement of "Sloopy," first performed at the Ohio State-Illinois football game on October 9, 1965; and

WHEREAS, Rock music has become an integral part of American culture, having attained a degree of acceptance no one would have thought possible twenty years ago; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of Ohio is in no way intended to supplant "Beautiful Ohio" as the official state song, but would serve as a companion piece to that old chestnut;

WHEREAS, If fans of jazz, country-and-western, classical, Hawaiian and polka music think those styles also should be recognized by the state, then by golly, they can push their own resolution just like we're doing;

WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff; and

WHEREAS, Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town, and everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloopy down; and

WHEREAS, Sloopy, I don't care what your daddy do, 'cause you know, Sloopy girl, I'm in love with you; therefore be it Resolved, That we, the members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio, in adopting this Resolution, name "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of the State of Ohio; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislative Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit duly authenticated copies of this Resolution to the news media of Ohio.
Pretty funny, huh? And for those of you who have forgotten the words, the lyrics are here.

Those of y'all who are from Ohio, or went to college here, in the '60s know that every bar band in the state had a rendition of this song and y'all probably rocked the night away to it at least once. At Kent State, it was a huge fave and we tended to join in and sing with the band at top volume as we danced. I still do when the oldies station plays it on my car's radio. When my kids were growing up they thought it hysterically funny that Mommy did that.

If you haven't seen The Ohio State Marching Band (TBDBITL) perform it and set The Horseshoe a-rockin', a video is below. Enjoy!

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!! Goooooo Buckeyes!!!!!!!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the education. I had no idea of the background on Sloopy. I wonder if any legislative house these days would be able to conjure up that much light-hearted fun. Likely not.

    Since I would like to see the Natl Champ remain in the SEC, I cannot wish you too much success tonight. I've got some close friends here from OSU, or is it THE OSU, so if you and they are all happy, then I haven't lost, just won in a different kind of way. Enjoy the game...


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