COLUMBUS, Ohio – In what some considered to be their most significant achievement, then state Rep. Mike Stinziano and state Sen. Gene Watts, both of Columbus, sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 16 in 1985 that designated “Hang On Sloopy” as Ohio’s Official State Rock Song.
Recently, it’s become known that enacting a codified statute for the purpose of designating “Hang On Sloopy” as the state rock song would have the benefit of officially making the song Ohio’s Official State Rock Song in perpetuity.
Now, state Rep. Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat and the son of Mike Stinziano, has introduced a bill that would once and for all designate “Hang On Sloopy” as Ohio’s Official State Rock Song.
“‘Hang On Sloopy’ is synonymous with the state of Ohio and with Ohio State University football,” said Stinziano, who graduated from Ohio State’s law school. “I’m pleased to be able to help right this wrong and to help our state proudly proclaim that ‘Hang On Sloopy’ is once again the state of Ohio’s official Rock Song.”
In 1985, he Ohio General Assembly adopted an official rock song after Joe Dirck, a columnist for the Columbus Citizen-Journal, wrote a column about the State of Washington considering the adoption of its own rock song. The Ohio General Assembly responded by making "Hang on Sloopy" Ohio's rock song. At the time, Ohio was the only state to have an official rock song.
Bert Berns and Wes Farrell co-wrote the song, and "Hang on Sloopy" became a major hit for the band The McCoys in 1965. The McCoys were originally from Dayton, Ohio. The song was about Dorothy Sloop of Steubenville, Ohio. A singer, Sloop sometimes used the stage name Sloopy.
The song has also perhaps become best known as the informal anthem for Ohio State University football.
Stinziano’s legislation seeks to codify in state law that “Hang On Sloopy” is in fact Ohio’s official rock song.
House Bill 283 will be assigned to a standing committee for further study.