Most states have an official song, however none are as hip as Ohio, which is the only state in America to have an official rock song. Ohio’s official rock song is “Hang on Sloopy” which was made popular by The McCoys in 1965. The song not only gained national attention, but it has several Ohio connections as well. The McCoys are from the Dayton area and the subject of the song, “Sloopy” is named after Dorothy Sloop, a Steubenville native. It is believed the writers of the song met Dorothy in a New Orleans bar and she was going through a difficult time which prompted the response, “Hang on Sloopy”.
Due to the song’s popularity, the Ohio State marching band first played “Hang on Sloopy” on October 9th, 1965. The crowd’s reaction showed the song was an instant smash. “Hang on Sloopy” has been associated with The Ohio State Marching Band ever since. In 1985, a writer for the Columbus Citizen-Journal wrote an article about the state of Washington considering adoption of an official rock song. In response, the Ohio General Assembly passed a resolution to make “Hang on Sloopy” the official rock song of Ohio.
WHEREAS, The members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio wish to recognize the rock song “Hang On Sloopy” as the official rock song of the great State of Ohio; and
WHEREAS, In 1965, an Ohio-based rock group known as the McCoys reached the top of the national record charts with “Hang On Sloopy,” composed by Bert Russell and Wes Farrell, and that same year, John Tagenhorst, then an arranger for the Ohio State University Marching Band, created the band’s now-famous arrangement of “Sloopy,” first performed at the Ohio State-Illinois football game on October 9, 1965; and
WHEREAS, Rock music has become an integral part of American culture, having attained a degree of acceptance no one would have thought possible twenty years ago; and
WHEREAS, Adoption of “Hang On Sloopy” as the official rock song of Ohio is in no way intended to supplant “Beautiful Ohio” as the official state song, but would serve as a companion piece to that old chestnut; and
WHEREAS, If fans of jazz, country-and-western, classical, Hawaiian and polka music think those styles also should be recognized by the state, then by golly, they can push their own resolution just like we’re doing; and
WHEREAS, “Hang On Sloopy” is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and
WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff; and
WHEREAS, Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town, and everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloopy down; and
WHEREAS, Sloopy, I don’t care what your daddy do, ’cause you know, Sloopy girl, I’m in love with you; therefore be it Resolved, That we, the members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio, in adopting this Resolution, name “Hang On Sloopy” as the official rock song of the State of Ohio; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislative Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit duly authenticated copies of this Resolution to the news media of Ohio.