Rick Derringer – Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo

A hard rock hit back in 1974. The song has a cool guitar riff and solo by Rick Derringer. The song was written by Derringer in 1970 and Johnny Winter had a go at it earlier.

This was Derringer’s only top 40 hit. The song peaked at #23 on the Billboard 100 in 1973. I like both versions. Johnny Winter’s version is a little more laid back and Derringer’s is a little more edgy and uptempo. Hoochie Koo is short for Hoochie Koochie, which is sexual slang that was made popular by Muddy Waters in his song “Hoochie Coochie Man.

Rick Derringer was in a band called The McCoys who had a pop/rock/ bubblegum hit called Hang On Sloopy back in 1965. The McCoys combined forces with Johnny Winter on the album Johnny Winter And in 1970. It was going to be Johnny Winter and The McCoys, but that band had a bubblegum reputation they wanted to shake but Johnny felt it better to leave The McCoys name out of it entirely. Rick wrote the song for Johnny to bring in more of a rock and roll song to him rather than blues.

Later in 1973, Rick released his solo album All American Boy and released the single. Music critic Cub Koda (also singer/songwriter in Brownsville Station) wrote of the album “this is simply Rick Derringer’s most focused and cohesive album, a marvelous blend of rockers, ballads, and atmospheric instrumentals”, adding it was “one of the great albums of the ’70s that fell between the cracks.”

In 1972 Johnny joined Rick and Edgar to sing it on Edgar’s live album, Roadwork.

Rick Derringer: “The first thing I wanted to do was bring more of a rock ‘n roll way of thinking to Johnny, but Johnny didn’t want to change and become in any way bubblegum. So I wanted to write a song specifically for Johnny that he would be able to speak the lyrics in his vernacular and feel comfortable about saying the words he was saying, but I also wanted to bring a little more of a pop kind of sensibility to the whole thing. So I wrote ‘Rock ‘n Roll Hoochie Koo’ trying to follow those guidelines and it came out like it is.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hoochie Koo

Couldn’t stop moving when it first took hold
It was a warm spring night at the old town hall
There was a group called, “The Jokers” they were layin’ it down
Don’t ya know I’m never gonna lose that funky sound?

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lord and mama, light my fuse (light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news

Skeeters start a buzzin’ ’bout this time a year
I’m goin’ ’round back, said she’d meet me there
We were rollin’ in the grass that grows behind the barn
When my ears started ringing like a fire alarm

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lord and mama, light my fuse (light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news

Yeah, did somebody say keep on rockin’?

Hope you all know what I’m talkin’ about
The way they wiggle that thing really knocks me out
Gettin’ high all the time, hope you all are too
C’mon little closer gonna do it to you

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lord and mama, light my fuse (light my fuse)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Drop on out and spread the news

Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lord and mama, light my fuse (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Jump on out and spread the news, yeah
That I’m tired of payin’ dues (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Done said goodbye to all my blues (Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo)
Lord and mama, light my fuse


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Rick Derringer – Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”

  1. Good song and I didn’t know the back story about Winter being involved. Every time I hear ” Hang On Sloopy” all I see is the cheesy video with the blonde goddess dancing in the street in front of the stage. I believe he eventually married her. They don’t make all-natural gals like that anymore, as well as all-natural bands.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You watch that video and you cannot keep your eyes off of her…
      Her name is Lisa Leonard Dalton… she was Miss Gazzarri Dancer 1974…whatever that means.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Everytime our band played that song from 2000 until 2019, I was hoping some gal like her would come from the audience and dance. My lovely wife did her best impression and got darn close.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I didn’t know he was in the McCoys either, and like Phil says, now I always think of that video for it! I remember this song well, wasn’t really a top pick of mine but several of my friends at school loved it in a big way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Didn’t know the ‘Hang On Sloopy’ tie-in with Rick either. Another with the looks and talent to go somewhere big, but, not to be. And who would have thought the number of views on YouTube for a girl on a video? YouTube is strange- from a few seconds of strutting your stuff filmed back in the 70s to internet sensation. I don’t know whether to to impressed by the audience that clicks on, or depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A little mixture of the two. …and almost 15K comments. They could go anywhere now to see any girl but I guess it had to be that one…it’s not like she was wearing someting outrageous either… she does catch the eye though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the song. In all my years I never knew that Hoochie Koochie had such overtones. I suppose because a (late) brother-in-law’s nickname was “Hooch” which stemmed from the phrase and he was anything but a licentious belly dancer!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d never heard Winter’s version. Not bad. And, folks not knowing Derringer was in the McCoys is so funny to me.

    Love Hang On Sloopy (long version) & Hoochie Koo, too. Good stuff! He should have gone farther.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Heh. She doesn’t do much for me…

        I will always remember that song helping me win tickets to REO Speedwagon. It was a “name that tune” three second clip. I woke up to the clip, called in to tell them what it was…and my dumb ass didn’t even know what the prize was. I was just calling to say, I knew the song. I was half asleep. They roared with laughter when my sleepy self said…on live air…”I didn’t even know what I was calling for.”

        That was back in the day when I used to sleep with a radio on. I was in the front bedroom of my paternal grandmother’s house.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Did you go to see REO? What year was it? I saw them in 1982 and 83.
        Yea she has a couple of great qualities to her lol.


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