When Ohio passed a law making "Hang on Sloopy" the official state song

The McCoys made the pop song "Hang on Sloopy" famous in 1965; twenty years later, the Ohio State Assembly voted it in as the state's official rock song. The legislation makes for a pretty excellent read.

To quote:


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.

Ah, the sweet feel of bipartisan action.

As an aside, it's never been clear precisely who Sloopy was. Wikipedia claims that "the original version of Sloopy was written by a "high school kid in St. Louis" and sold to Bert Berns," who commercialized it and then died in 1967 -- so "if true, the answer to the age old question 'just who is Sloopy?' lies with him."

There's a countervailing theory, which is that the song refers to Dorothy Sloop, a musician and entertainer who played at a bar where the "Sloopy" songwriters may have seen her play.

Given the crack work the FBI did investigating the lyrics of "Louie, Louie" -- you can read the full, berserk 119-page file that came out of their two-year project -- maybe they should look into "Hang on Sloopy," too.