Rick Derringer (born Richard Zehringer, born on the 5th of August 1947, in Fort Recovery, Ohio, is an American guitarist, composer and entertainer is 61 years old today. It is a worthy birthday for the old rocker. He is best known for his composition of the songs “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo“, “Hang on Sloopy” and “Real American“.
Derringer is very versatile and talented, he played with many bands and oddly enough was also “Weird Al” Yankovic’s producer and additional guitarist for five years, before rhythm guitarist Jim West became the main guitarist. At the young age of seventeen years, his band The McCoys recorded “Hang on Sloopy” in the summer of 1965, which became the number one song in America. And of course I remember that well. Rick also played with the Edgar Winter Band ( the opening act ) when I saw Jimi Hendrix in concert in the late ’60′s.
We saw The Edgar Winter Band live the last two out of three years, and Rick Derringer was the lead off for Edgar Winter in 2006. So his association with Edgar Winter continues to this day. Surprisingly, he also recorded heavily with Steely Dan, playing lead guitar on songs such as “Show Biz Kids”.
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, which by the way was changed to Voodoochild (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix, later in Hogan’s career. He also co-wrote and sang back-up vocals on “Calm Inside The Storm” on Cyndi Lauper’s 1986 True Colors album. He served as one of her tour musicians from 1986 – 1992.
Rick is a legend and obviously did some musical and entertainment events that some folks are not even aware of, while continuing to be an active musician and entertainer. He may not be as well known to the younger crowd, but Rick is worthy of your pursuit since he is the composer of some of the most timeless songs ever.
Guitar Players Center researches many birthdays, mostly relating to the older guitar playing rockers and bluesmen from my era. As an example and a slip-up, Robert Cray, the great blues guitar player had a birthday on August 1st. He is a true classic, since both of us were born in 1953, must have been a good year!! Enjoy. Feel free to add your 2 cents worth and please join our free blog for deliveries to your e-box.
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