Print Shortlink

Derringer, Rick (5 August 1947 – Present)

Guitarist, producer and singer-songwriter, born Rick Dean Zehringer in Fort Recovery, Ohio, who enjoyed early success when The McCoys topped the charts with “Hang on Sloopy” in 1965.  In 1966, they were the opening act for The Rolling Stones and wound up touring for about four years.

The band then merged with Johnny Winter and became Johnny Winter And in 1969.  In 1971, they released a pair of self-titled albums, Johnny Winter And and Johnny Winter And—LiveJohnny Winter And included an early version of “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”, which would become Rick’s signature song.  Rick covered the song on his debut solo album, All American Boy, and it became a huge hit.  He also produced much of the Winter brothers’ material, such as Still Alive and Well by Johnny Winter, and Roadwork and They Only Come Out At Night by Edgar Winter’s White Trash.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, he released a string of albums, including Derringer Live, Face to Face, Good Dirty Fun, If I Weren’t So Romantic, I’d Shoot You, Spring Fever, and Sweet Evil.  He also worked with other artists and groups, such as Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, Kiss, Cyndi Lauper, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Rick produced two of Weird Al’s biggest hits, “Fat” and “Eat It”, on which he mimics Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo from “Beat It”.

In the 1990s, he resumed his solo career with the release of Back to the Blues, Blues Deluxe, Electra Blues, and Tend the Fire.  The end of the decade found him doing more guest turns on Damon Fowler’s Riverview Drive, Tom Guerra’s Mambo Sons, and Edgar Winter’s Winter Blues.

In the new millennium, he released Free Ride and Jackhammer Blues and a couple of collaborative projects, DBA (Derringer, Bogert and Appice) and DNA (Derringer and Appice).  Free Ride was his first foray into the realm of smooth jazz and yielded the top-twenty hit, “Hot & Cool”, penned by his wife, Jenda.  Then he turned his focus to his faith, releasing a trio of gospel albums:  Aiming 4 Heaven, The Derringers We Live, and Still Alive and Well were family affairs, featuring contributions by his wife and kids.

In the late 2000s, he released a pair of solo albums, Knighted by the Blues and Rockin’ American, and performed with Tom Curiale and Bruce Waibel, Live at Cheney Hall.  Then he joined Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band and they celebrated Ringo’s 70th birthday on 7th July 2010 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.

Here he is performing “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”…