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Rick Derringer (born Ricky Dean Zehringer; August 5, 1947) is an American guitarist, vocalist, Grammy Award winning producer and entertainer.
Derringer came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of The McCoys, who had a number one hit single with "Hang on Sloopy." Derringer then turned to blues rock, scoring a 1974 hit with "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo". He has also worked extensively with brothers Edgar and Johnny Winter, and with the group Steely Dan.
Derringer was born in Fort Recovery, Ohio, the son of Janice Lavine (Thornburg) and John J. Zehringer, a railroad worker. When he was 17, his band The McCoys recorded "Hang on Sloopy" in the summer of 1965, which became the number one song in America before "Yesterday" by The Beatles knocked it out of the top spot. The song was issued by Bang Records. He adopted the Derringer stage name which was inspired by the Bang Records logo which featured a derringer pistol.
After starting The McCoys, he changed the band's name to "The Rick Z Combo", and then "Rick and the Raiders". After recording "Hang on Sloopy", it was decided that the original name was best, and The McCoys were reborn.
One of the first opportunities to see them play live came when they opened for The Rolling Stones on the entire 1966 American tour. Before "Hang on Sloopy", they were seen often at LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park in southwest Ohio at Friday night WSAI (Cincinnati, Ohio) radio-sponsored dances. They were a part of the local summer dance experience along with Ivan and the Sabers on WING (Dayton, Ohio) radio Monday night dances.
Derringer also recorded and played with a version of Johnny Winter's band called "Johnny Winter And ..." and both Edgar Winter's White Trash and The Edgar Winter Group. He played on The EWG's Grammy-nominated rock instrumental single "Frankenstein", which topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week starting in May 1973 and sold over one million copies.
Derringer also had a successful solo career, and his solo version of "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" was a hit single in 1973. The years 2013–2014 mark the 40th anniversary of Derringer's first solo tracks on All American Boy released October 15, 1973. The album's success was rated by its record company, "Blue Sky Records", that stated that every college dorm room in America had one. He also recorded extensively with Steely Dan, playing slide guitar on songs including "Show Biz Kids" and "Chain Lightning".
Derringer appeared on Alice Cooper's Killer album in 1971, playing the solo on "Under My Wheels."
In late 1974, Derringer played guitar on Joe Vitale's debut solo album Roller Coaster Weekend produced by The Albert Brothers (Ron, and Howard). The album featured other famous guitarists Joe Walsh and Phil Keaggy.
Derringer opened for Led Zeppelin in Oakland, California on their last American tour in 1977. Derringer was also a featured guitarist on several Todd Rundgren albums in the 1970s, including Something/Anything? (1972), A Wizard, a True Star (1973), Initiation (1975) and the live album Back to the Bars (1978).
Rick Derringer - Ford Auditorium
Detroit, MI 1976-11-17
★ Rick Derringer: Vocals, Guitar
★ Danny Johnson: Guitar, Vocals
★ Kenny Aaronson: Bass, Background Vocals
★ Vinny Appice: Drums
01. Still Alive and Well
02. Let Me In
03. Teenage Love Affair
05. Beyond The Universe
06. Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo
07. Roll With Me
08. Rebel Rebel
10. I Just Wanna Keep on Makin Love