(Read all about Rick Derringer after the video)
Rick Derringer (born Ricky Dean Zehringer; August 5, 1947) is an American guitarist, vocalist, Grammy Award-winning producer and entertainer. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of The McCoys, when he was brought in to record lead vocals for the number one hit single with "Hang on Sloopy". He then turned to blues rock, scoring a 1974 hit with "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo". He has worked extensively with brothers Edgar and Johnny Winter as well as with the group Steely Dan. He also worked with "Weird Al" Yankovic, producing Yankovic's Grammy Award-winning songs "Eat It" and "Fat", and with the World Wrestling Federation, penning entrance songs for Hulk Hogan and Demolition.
Life and career
Early life and 1960s
Derringer was born in Fort Recovery, Ohio, the son of Janice Lavine (Thornburg) and John J. Zehringer, a railroad worker. He started a band in Ohio initially known as "The Rick Z Combo", and later known as "Rick and the Raiders". In the summer of 1965, when Derringer was 17, he recorded lead vocals over an already-recorded backing track provided by The Strangeloves for the song Hang on Sloopy. It was released under the band name The McCoys, to avoid confusion with another popular band of the era, Paul Revere and the Raiders. It became the number one song in America for a week; "Yesterday" by The Beatles knocked it out of the top spot and remained no. 1 for a month. The single was issued by Bang Records. Derringer adopted his stage name at this time, inspired by the Bang Records logo which featured a derringer pistol.
The McCoys 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.
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, which was released on October 15, 1973. The album's success was rated so highly by its record company, Blue Sky Records, that it claimed 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.
In the last half of the 1970s, Rick Derringer fronted the hard rock band Derringer, releasing a self-titled debut, followed by Sweet Evil and If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Shoot You. The latter included a cover of Warren Zevon's Lawyers, Guns and Money as well as material by Alice Cooper and Bernie Taupin. Bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummers Vinny Appice and Myron Grombacher passed through the group's lineup. Appice later joined Black Sabbath during the Ronnie James Dio era and Grombacher joined Pat Benatar's band.
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).
Derringer was also a regular in Andy Warhol's circle and often frequented Warhol's studio, The Factory.
Derringer also performed a track for the World Wrestling Federation on The Wrestling Album. "Real American" would later be used as Hulk Hogan's entrance music (and was associated before with the tag team, The U.S. Express). Derringer also performed the entrance theme for WWF Tag Team Demolition on Piledriver:The Wrestling Album 2, as well as a duet version of "Rock 'n Roll Hoochie Koo" with Gene Okerlund.
See also: Music in professional wrestling
In the 1980s, Derringer expanded his producing skills, by producing for Mason Ruffner as well as the first 6 "Weird Al" Yankovic albums. He also played on the second Silver Condor album on the track "Thank God For Rock and Roll", produced and sung by Joe Cerisano. He has played for "Weird Al" on many of his albums, playing guitar and mandolin; on the track "Eat It", Derringer played the guitar solo, an homage/parody to Eddie Van Halen's solo on the Michael Jackson song "Beat It".
In 1983, Derringer teamed up with former Vanilla Fudge/Cactus/Beck, Appice & Bogert drummer Carmine Appice for the short lived project DNA, who released the album Party Tested. The title track was a popular MTV video during this era.
In 1983, Derringer guested on the Kiss album, Lick It Up, playing the uncredited solo on the opening track, "Exciter".
In 1986, he co-wrote and sang back-up vocals on "Calm Inside The Storm" on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors album. He served as one of her tour musicians from 1986–1992, prompting him to compare Cyndi to Barbra Streisand: "She's better live than Barbra."
Derringer was once again sought after by Edgar Winter and in 1990 performed on the album, Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer Live in Japan. In 1999, Derringer and Winter were back together again for their collaboration on his Winter Blues CD.
Derringer also recorded four blues CDs, starting in 1993 with Back to the Blues followed by Electra Blues, Blues Deluxe, and the 2000 release, Jackhammer Blues.
Rick Derringer's Tend The Fire was released in Europe and UK (1997), DBA-Derringer, Bogert & Appice (2001).
Free Ride Smooth Jazz (2002) with Rick's wife, singer-songwriter Jenda Derringer Hall, who sang the title song "Free Ride". She also wrote the album's Top Twenty Hit "Hot & Cool", which charted at No. 16.
In 2001, Derringer released the gospel rock CD-only album, Aiming 4 Heaven, under the group name, The Derringers, along with wife Jenda, son Marny, and daughter Lory. In 2008, The Derringers released the follow-up gospel CD-only album entitled We Live.
Derringer guested on the Tom Guerra project Mambo Sons (1999) and Damon Fowler's Riverview Drive (2000). He also appears on the Les Paul album American Made World Played (2005) on the track "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl".
In 2006, he appeared in a Fidelity Investments television commercial, playing "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo".
In 2007, he legally changed his surname to "Derringer" from "Zehringer".
In May 2009, he released the album Knighted by the Blues and its single, "Sometimes", that was also written by Jenda Derringer.
Rick Derringer toured with Ringo Starr's 11th All-Starr Band in the summer of 2010 and 2011, a band that included long-time friend and musician partner Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Richard Page, Gregg Bissonette, Wally Palmer and Ringo Starr.
His current trio consists of longtime bassist-vocalist Charlie Torres and drummer-vocalist-global tour manager Kenn Moutenot of song3.com.
In 2010, two of Derringer's homes in Florida were foreclosed upon when he defaulted on a $46,000 line of credit that his wife Brenda J. Hall obtained in 2004 from Branch Banking & Trust Co. The loan was secured by Derringer's Florida property. He was also sued by BAC Home Loans Servicing, a mortgage company servicing another loan on behalf of Fannie Mae. According to BAC, Derringer made no monthly payments in 2010 and owed $242,366 in principal and interest as of October 2010. Derringer blamed the circumstances on society, stating “Anybody can be affected by this huge problem, even us.” Derringer was also listed as defendant in another foreclosure complaint on a separate property in 2014 in Manatee County, FL.
In 2017, Derringer was charged with carrying a loaded gun on a Delta Air Lines flight from Cancun, Mexico to Atlanta, Georgia. According to his manager, Derringer thought he was permitted to carry the gun, based on his possession of a valid Florida pistol permit. After the arrest, a defiant Derringer boasted that he flew 30-50 times a year with a loaded handgun. Derringer later plead guilty to the charge, agreeing to pay a $1000 fine, stating that it won't happen again, "not even a water pistol." 
In other media
"Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" is featured in the 1993 film, Dazed and Confused, as well as in the 2007 Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II. The song was also made available as downloadable content for the guitar-learning software game, Rocksmith, released in 2015.
"Real American" is featured in the original broadcast of the episode "Gumball Special" of Jackass (it has since been replaced by another song for subsequent TV broadcasts and DVD releases). The song is featured in an episode of Eastbound & Down (Chapter 8) as Kenny Powers' entrance song to his return to baseball playing for The Charros (a Mexican baseball team). The song is also featured on Episode 20 of TeamFourStar's Dragonball Z: Abridged as Goku's arrival to Namek music, and was also used by President Barack Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner to unveil his "birth certificate".
Rick & Jenda Derringer do The Beatles, released just before Spring, 2014, is their Beatles tribute album, for the Beatles 50th Anniversary. It features their versions of "A Hard Day's Night", "Here Comes the Sun", "Got to Get You into My Life", "The Word", "In My Life", "Eight Days a Week", "Something", "And I Love Her", "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Do You Want To Know A Secret".
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