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Rick Derringer Celebrates 50 Years of Rock and Roll

Updated: Jun 22


This year forever immortalizes Rick Derringer's "Golden Anniversary" and 50 years of contributions to the shaping and molding of Rock and Roll music, as we know it today.


Rick Derringer started his music career in the early 60s and soon became a prized guitarist and singer in 1965 when his band the McCoys recorded the #1 hit song “Hang on Sloopy,” which topped the charts and replaced The Beatles song “Yesterday.” Quickly the song became instant fame, which set in motion a two-year world tour with the Rolling Stones. Today, “Hang on Sloopy” is the official song of the State of Ohio, and the Ohio State Buckeyes' official theme song heard at all sporting events.

Rick Derringer is well known for his major contributions to both Edgar Winter, and the late Johnny Winter, as producer, songwriter and player. Most notably, Rick was the only producer generating gold and platinum albums for the Winter Brothers in their careers as musicians. Most everyone has heard the hit songs “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” “Free Ride,” and the notorious “Frankenstein,” all of which have become iconic songs of the Classic Rock genre.

In 1973, Derringer released his first solo album All American Boy featuring the hit version of “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” According to critic Cub Koda, "This is simply Rick Derringer's most focused and cohesive album, a marvelous blend of rockers, ballads, and atmospheric instrumentals. One of the great albums of the '70s that fell between the cracks." The album features performances from Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter and several other well-known artists from the 70s era.

However, Rick Derringer's successes continued to grow and his well sought after talent as a guitar player, songwriter and producer led him to collaborations with Steely Dan, Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, Todd Rundgren, Dan Hartman, and Bette Midler throughout the 70s.

As the 80s rolled in, Rick Derringer still continued to make great contributions to the music industry. He produced albums for Madam X, produced and played on Weird Al Yankovic's, In 3-D, which featured the Grammy Award winning, “Eat It” parody, produced an album for Adrian Zmed, Mason Ruffner, and also produced Hulk Hogan's Wrestling Album, and was producer/writer/player for WWF's Piledriver album. Additionally, Rick Derringer offered his talents as player on KISS' “Lick It Up,” player for Barbara Streisand, writer/player for Cyndi Lauper, and writer for Meatloaf.

Rick continued to burn the fret board during the 90s, this time with a focus on a series of Blues Bureau productions featuring original works as well as tributes to various artist such as B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King and the well respected and legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn. Additionally, the BluesBureau productions are certainly great works of musical masterpieces, which display a well-disciplined Derringer when it comes to the deep-rooted notes of the Blues genre.

Despite Rick's successes, the 2000s have proven that his mission to continue shaping the music industry is far from being over. With the release of Free Ride, a jazz version of some of Rick's classics, as well as new pieces, Rick Derringer once again showed the world the discipline and level of skill he possessed as a guitar player and musical artist. Soon thereafter, Derringer released another well-anticipated blues album, Knighted by the Blues, which features the cover song “If 6 was 9” originally recorded by Jimi Hendrix. Vintage Guitar Magazine boasted the album as, “Highlighted by a player who’s still in top form, playing as well as ever, the disc reflects Derringer’s attitude and the fact he is both confident moving forward and comfortable reflecting on his remarkable career.”

In light of recording, touring solo with his notorious tri-fecta of talents, while working on several behind the scene projects, some of the most memorable accomplishments of the 2000s included several major tours as lead guitarist for Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band. The group of superstars completed a near three year-long tour, which included a coast-to-coast U.S. tour, a South American tour and a multi-country European tour.

Recently, Rick Derringer has been working on various projects with a variety of talented artist. In addition, his greatest hit, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”, has been inducted into the RockSmith 2014 collection of Classic Rock songs in its original authentic sound. A spokesperson from RockSmith stated, “We are honored to have you in RockSmith.” Derringer is no stranger to top selling video games. In 2006, Derringer’s staple rock song was featured as a cover tune in Guitar Hero II, which was the second most sold game with over 800,000 units sold.

Celebrating 50 years of Rock and Roll is an accomplishment not enjoyed by many. Rick Derringer has made so many great contributions, too many to mention. To learn more about Rick, tour dates, music and to become a fan, go to www.rickderringer.com or join his loyal fan-base on Rick Derringer Official Facebook Fanpage.

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