The Vibrations: “My Girl Sloopy” / “Hang on Sloopy”

Posted: March 14, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “My Girl Sloopy” / “Hang on Sloopy” -The Vibrations
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Count Basie vs. Daddy Memphis vs. Die Toten Hosen
VOTE, COMMENT, then do TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE
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“My Girl Sloopy” was written by Wes Farrell and Burt Russell (although some contend that it was written by a high school kid who sold it to Russell). Its first recording was by The Vibrations and released in 1964 to some acclaim, reaching #10 on the R&B chart and #26 on the US pop chart. A year later The McCoys changed the name of the song to “Hang on Sloopy” and released their version, which reached #1 on the US pop chart.

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The Original

The Vibrations:

 

The Most Popular

 

The McCoys:

 

The McCoys frontman was a 16-year-old by the name of Rick Zehringer soon to be known as Rick Derringer. Bad move in my opinion. When I think of the All American Boy the name Zehringer immediately comes to mind.

 

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

 

Count Basie vs. Daddy Memphis vs. Die Toten Hosen

 

Count Basie:

Daddy Memphis:

Die Toten Hosen:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 

 

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Comments
  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Boy, this was a toughie. Three different genres here to pick from: Jazz vs ska vs rock. The jazz version was an interesting twist, and Count Basie does it really great. The bass line in the song lends itself perfectly to ska, and Daddy Memphis nails it. As for just plain rocking out, well, Die Toten Hosen do a kick-ass version in their own right. So it was tough. Being that we don’t hear much jazz on CMI, and Count Basie was so cool, I’m givin’ it to the Count.

  2. RDubbs says:

    The Count’s version is excellent but the lack of vocals were of particular detriment given the iconic lyrics and infectious chorus of the song, especially considering the lead men of the competitive bands excelled on assertively belting this one out.

    I was prepared to vote for Die Toten Hosen but by midway through the number it all started looking too much like a Donald Trump rally, which caused me to shriek and run from the house.

    And so, by process of elimination Daddy Memphis takes the crown. Loved the old-school growling ska vocals! Homage to Fatty Buster Bloodvessel?

  3. Kerry Black says:

    When I first heard this song as a kid on car radio or the cheap little transistors, I thought they were singin’ “Hang on Snoopy” until I saw the title in print. While this is a great example of a good catchy sixties pop song, I’m still impressed it reached the number one spot; lots of tough competition back in ’65.

    Interesting video w/ The McCoys; a real time capsule at this point. If you check out Derringer’s clothes and hair, that’s exactly what David Cassidy wore as Keith Partridge. Superimpose Cassidy’s face onto this video and make it a Partridge Family video! Sherwood Schwartz or somebody must’ve seen this video and shrieked “that’s the look I want”! Looks like their budget was so tight, they couldn’t afford a bra for the dancer.

    I remember seeing Rick Derringer appear in various rock magazines in the seventies. Never knew much about him, but I figured he was using a stage name. Anyone who grew up watching westerns knows that a “derringer” is a tiny pistol. It’s not the worst stage name in rock history. That honor is still held by the young John Mellencamp, who went by “Johnny Cougar” then “John Cougar”, “John Cougar Mellencamp”, before dropping the ill-advised “Cougar” altogether. I remember seeing ads in “Rolling Stone” with a photo of a serious-as-hell looking young man under the name “Johnny Cougar”, and it looked like a frickin parody.

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