COLUMBUS, Ohio – “Hang On Sloopy,” the unofficial anthem of Ohio State football, would be properly placed within the Ohio Revised Code, as Ohio’s official rock song, under a bill that passed the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat, and Rep. Cheryl Grossman, a Grove City Republican, comes after it became known that a House resolution, sponsored by Rep. Stinziano’s father, former state Rep. Mike Stinziano, and state Sen. Gene Watts, adopted in 1985 that designated “Hang On Sloopy” as the state’s official rock song, was never placed in Ohio's code along with other official state designations.
‘Hang On Sloopy’ is synonymous with the state of Ohio, both for its statewide ties to various communities, with Ohio State University football, and as our rock song" said Stinziano, who grew up in the University community and 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 properly designated in our code as the state of Ohio’s official Rock Song.”
In 1985, the 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 and Grossman’s legislation seeks to codify in state law that “Hang On Sloopy” is in fact Ohio’s official rock song.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.