Rick Derringer is an American guitarist, vocalist, Grammy Award-winning producer and entertainer.
Let’s see some intriguing facts about him!
1. Ricky Dean Zehringer was born August 5, 1947 in Fort Recovery, Ohio.
2. He is the son of Janice Lavine (Thornburg) and John J. Zehringer, a railroad worker.
3. He started a band in Ohio initially known as “The Rick Z Combo”, and later known as “Rick and the Raiders”.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. They were a part of the local summer dance experience along with Ivan and the Sabers on WING (Dayton, Ohio) radio Monday-night dances.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Derringer appeared on Alice Cooper’s Killer album in 1971, playing the solo on “Under My Wheels”.
12. 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.
13. 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. T
14. Derringer opened for Led Zeppelin in Oakland, California on their last American tour in 1977.
15. Derringer was also a regular in Andy Warhol’s circle and often frequented Warhol’s studio, The Factory.
16. 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).
17. In the 1980s, Derringer expanded his producing skills, by producing for Mason Ruffner as well as the first 6 “Weird Al” Yankovic albums.
18. 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.
19. 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.”
20. Derringer was once again sought after by Edgar Winter and in 1990 performed on the album Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer Live in Japan.
21. In 1999 Derringer and Winter were back together again for their collaboration on his Winter Blues CD.
22. Derringer also recorded four blues CDs, starting in 1993 with Back to the Blues followed by Electra Blues, Blues Deluxe and his 2000 release Jackhammer Blues.
23. Free Ride Smooth Jazz (2002) with Rick’s wife, singer-songwriter Jenda Derringer Hall, who sang the title song “Free Ride”.
24. She also wrote the album’s Top Twenty Hit “Hot & Cool”, which charted at No. 16.
25. “Aiming 4 Heaven” launched Derringer’s gospel rock career, with wife Jenda, their eight-year-old son, Marn and nine-year-old daughter, Lory Loving Derringer. The Derringers We Live CD was released in fall of 2008.
26. Despite his alleged new Christian faith, in 2006, he appeared in a Fidelity Investments television commercial, playing “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo”, in direct contravention of mainstream Christian views on amassing material wealth.
27. In 2007, he legally changed his surname to “Derringer” from “Zehringer”.
28. In May 2009, he released the album Knighted by the Blues and its single, “Sometimes”, that was also written by Jenda Derringer.
29. 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.
30. His current trio consists of longtime bassist-vocalist Charlie Torres and drummer-vocalist-global tour manager Kenn Moutenot of song3.com.
31. Derringer was also listed as defendant in another foreclosure complaint on a separate property in 2014 in Manatee County, FL.
32. 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.
33. “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” is featured in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, as well as in the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II in 2007. The song was also made available as downloadable content (DLC) for guitar learning software/game Rocksmith 2014 in January 2015.
34. “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).
35. Rick & Jenda Derringer do The Beatles, released just before Spring, 2014, is their Beatles tribute album, for the Beatles 50th Anniversary.
36. 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”.