The Rolling Stones’ tour is firing on all cylinders! The band rolled through Columbus, OH last weekend, and treated fans to a rare treat: their first performance of the Ohio rock song “Hang On Sloopy” since 1966.
The song has a bit of a legendary history, as it was purportedly written by some random teenager in St. Louis, and eventually recorded by Rick and the Rangers, featuring a 16-year-old Rick Derringer. That band changed their name to the McCoys, and went to #1 in October of 1965. The Rolling Stones picked it up around that time, playing it frequently at live shows during 1966, but dropped it shortly thereafter.
The band revived the tune for Ohio, some 49 years after they last performed it. You can watch fan-shot footage below:
The song also has a unique history with the state of Ohio, as the Ohio State University marching band played it regularly after the song became a #1 hit. “Hang On Sloopy” remained in the band’s repertoire for decades, and, in 1985, a reporter at the Columbus Citizen-Journal created a campaign to name the song as Ohio’s official state rock song. The McCoys were from the Dayton area, and the Ohio State University marching band played the song regularly, so the campaign was well received by the citizens.
Naturally, when The Rolling Stones hit the Ohio Stadium, home of the Ohio State University Buckeyes (where the football team and marching band both play), they couldn’t resist adding another page to the long saga of “Hang On Sloopy.”