COLUMBUS, Ohio – “Hang On Sloopy,” the unofficial anthem of Ohio State football, would be correctly recognized as Ohio’s official rock song in state law, under a bill that passed the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Michael Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat, and Cheryl Grossman, a Grove City Republican.
Rep. Stinziano’s father, former state Rep. Mike Stinziano, and state Sen. Gene Watts sponsored a resolution in 1985 that designated “Hang On Sloopy” as the state’s official rock song.
The General Assembly in that year adopted the resolution. However, the song was never legally properly placed in Ohio state law along with the state’s other official state designations.
“This is a long time coming and I’m pleased to be able to help correct this,” said the younger Stinziano, who grew up in the University community and graduated from Ohio State’s law school.
In 1985, via the resolution, 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 become best known as the informal anthem for Ohio State University football.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
Grossman and Stinziano sponsored a similar bill in the last General Assembly that ended in December.