The McCoys

Formed in Union City, Indiana in 1962, this group was initially comprised of guitarist Rick Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums and bass player Dennis Kelly. Starting out as Rick And The Raiders, then The Rick Z Combo, the group later added organist Ronnie Brandon, becoming The McCoys soon after Randy Hobbs replaced the college-bound Dennis Kelly. The quartet became a highly popular attraction throughout America's Midwest and gained the attention of producers Feldman/Gottherer/Goldstein who brought them to Bert Berns' Bang Records. The group's very first release was a simple, hard driving tune called "Hang On Sloopy", which shot to the top of the U.S. charts and reached the Top 5 in the UK in the Summer of 1965. For a follow-up, the band chose a similar arrangement for a tune called "Fever", a remake of Peggy Lee's 1958 Top Ten hit. A series of successive releases in a similar gutsy style fared less well. "Up And Dow" stalled at #46 in March, 1966 before a cover of Ritchie Valens' "C'Mon Let's Go" made it to #22 in early June. That would prove to be the band's final appearance on the Billboard Top 40, as the next release, "(You Make Me Feel) So Good" quit climbing at #74 in July and "Don't Worry Mother. Your Son's Heart Is Pure" topped out at #92 in October. 1967's "I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance" could only get to #92 in early January and "Beat The Clock" just managed to crack the Hot 100 when it charted at #99 in mid-May. After one final release on Bang Records, "Say Those Magic Words", which failed to chart, the band was dropped from the roster. Signing with Mercury Records, The McCoys tried their luck with a song called "Jesse Brady" in 1968, but it went no higher than #100. Three more efforts, "Epilogue" in '68, followed by "Love Don't Stop" and "Don't Fight It" in 1969, all fell short of the Billboard Pop chart.

It was during their final days on Mercury that the band discarded their Bubblegum image and became the house band at New York's popular Scene club. The club's owner, Steve Paul, later paired the group with an up and coming Blues guitarist named Johnny Winter and billed them as Johnny Winter And... ("And" referring to "The McCoys") featuring the Zehringer brothers and Randy Hobbs, with Rick Zehringer handling the production. It was about this time that Rick changed his last name from Zehringer to Derringer. In 1971, Rick was featured as lead vocalist on three albums, "Johnny Winter And", "Johnny Winter And - Live" and an L.P. by Johnny's brother Edgar Winter called "Edgar Winter's White Trash".

Eventually, Derringer joined Edgar's White Trash band full-time and produced the Gold LP, "Roadwork". Derringer's solo album, "All American Boy", was released in 1973 with the single "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" climbing to #23 the following year. Rick was writer and producer of Johnny Winter's "Still Alive and Well" album and a player and producer on the hit album, "They Only Come Out At Night". The latter featured the Grammy nominated, Billboard #1 hit, "Frankenstein" and the #14 "FreeRide".

In 1976, Rick created The Derringer Band and during the latter half of the seventies, released four albums, "Derringer", "Sweet Evil", "If I Weren't So Romantic I'd Shoot You", and "Face To Face". In 1983, he returned to his solo career with the LP, "Good Dirty Fun". Throughout the '70s and '80s Derringer appeared as a session musician on numerous albums with artists like Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand and KISS.

In the mid-'80s, Derringer discovered parody artist Weird Al Yancovic, producing music for his Grammy-winning albums and videos. Derringer's productions of the #12 hit "Eat It" and "Who's Fat" were among Yancovic's most successful recordings. Rick was also selected to be producer/writer/performer of the World Wrestling Federation LPs. Hulk Hogan's theme song, "I Am A Real American", was written and performed by Rick as a part of that project.

By 1990 Derringer was once again sought after by Edgar Winter and performed for the LP, "Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer Live in Japan". In the late 1990s, many shows found Rick and Edgar on stage together and they joined for an all-star re-union with the White Trash Horns at 1999's Montreaux Jazz Festival. In 1999, Rick collaborated with Edgar as songwriter/guitarist on his "Winter Blues" CD.

The year 2001 saw Derringer venture back into Rock 'n' Roll with former Vanilla Fudge members Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, producing a CD called "DBA - Derringer, Bogert and Appice", with vocals, writing and instrumentals shared by all three. Rick followed closely on the heels of this project with a recording entitled "Aiming For Heaven", with help from his daughter Lory and son Marty. Derringer was back on the road in 2002 and released "Free Ride Smooth Jazz" with his wife Jenda singing the title song. One of the tracks called "Hot & Cool" charted at #16 on Billboard's Jazz chart.

With many changes in his personal life, Rick launched a Gospel career with the release of "Aiming 4 Heaven" in the Fall of 2008, which saw mild success. Returning to his Rock roots in May 2009, he released the album "Knighted by the Blues" and its single, "Sometimes". 2010 and 2011 saw Rick touring with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band alongside his long time friend and partner Edgar Winter. Another Jazz oriented LP called "The Three Kings of the Blues" was also released. For the 2012 touring season, Rick teamed up with Charlie Torres and Tommy Curiale and was booked for dates across America. His 2017 schedule still had him appearing at several shows in Southern and Eastern United States. He was back in the news again in early February after being charged with unlawfully entering the Atlanta airport's secure area with a gun in his carry on luggage. According to news reports, Derringer told a federal air marshal that he thought that it was acceptable to carry a pistol on an airplane because he had a license to carry one. He later pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine.