Found Performance: “Hang On Sloopy” w/ Lisa Leonard Dalton

!!!Update: On November 21, 2022 Rick Derringer provided the answer fans have been waiting for. He was asked on his Facebook page for the name of the girl dancer in his “Hang On Sloopy” video. His answer was “Lisa somebody.” He didn’t know her, other than by her first name. But this mystery is now officially solved and verified. Lisa Leonard Dalton is the dancer in that classic 1975 music video.

As of September 2021, we now know the identity of the sexy “Hang On Sloopy” dancer in Rick Derringer’s 1975 video. She’s Lisa Leonard Dalton. This article has been updated to reflect that information. Additional photos of Lisa are at the bottom of this post. To read the story of the search for the Sloopy Girl and to see the full video, “Deconstructing a Myth: Sloopy Girl,” please click HERE.

Who was the “Sloopy Girl” dancer? Answer: Lisa Leonard Dalton (above). In Nov. 2022, Rick Derringer told his Facebook fans that Lisa was the dancing girl in his 1975 “Hang on Sloopy” video! Brit Liz Brewer never had any connection to Rick Derringer nor did she have a role in the now viral Sloopy dance video. 

Here’s the original information, including some recent updates, that accompanied this article when it was published in May 2020:

As a kid, living in the NW corner of Washington State, I had great reception of Canadian radio stations. Those of us looking for an AM Top-40 radio station in 1965 and ’66 often heard the sound of  C-FUN out of Vancouver, BC. The intro to this video harks back to those days.

“Hang On Sloopy” was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1965. Other records by The McCoys that received significant radio airplay included “Fever,” “Sorrow,” and “Come On Let’s Go.” Rick Derringer also produced records and played lead guitar with Edgar and Johnny Winter in the 1970s. He had a solo hit with “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” in 1974 (Billboard Hot 100 peak position #23).

Usually I post a very early rendition of a “Found Performance.” This is an exception. I have two 1965 appearances by the original “McCoys.” But the video I chose is actually from 1975 and it will get your attention. It has a millions strong fan base.

Lisa Leonard Dalton, Sloopy Girl, dated Hollywood actor Dennis Cole.

At the time, McCoys’ vocalist, Rick Derringer, was filming a music video to promote a remake of the hit single “Sloopy.” But it wasn’t the new ’75 incarnation of the song that got the fan’s attention. It was the “Hang On Sloopy” dancing girl. The premise was this: During the film shoot, a gorgeous girl strolls by and embarks on a sexy and captivating dance routine.

You don’t have to be much of a detective to debunk that theory. Girls like this don’t just wander down the street into a film. This girl was obviously no ordinary passerby. After a decade of rumors, and other women unfortunately given credit for the “Hang On Sloopy” dancer’s performance, it was revealed in 2021 that Lisa Leonard Dalton, an American, is the real Sloopy Girl.

The urban legend that the “Hang On Sloopy” dancer was a British party planner, or that she had been married to singer Rick Derringer, were discredited. If you’ve heard that false rumor, then you need to see “Sloopy Wives-Fact and Fiction” (Read it HERE ).  The meticulously documented article answers the questions: How old are these ladies and who was actually married to Rick Derringer? As a preview, at the time of her 1975 performance Lisa Leonard Dalton was 19 years old. A California girl, she came to the attention of the filmmakers when she won the 1974 dance competition at Gazzarri’s, a popular Hollywood nightclub. And for those readers who would like to know more about Liz Brewer, the answers to some of the questions that inevitably come up can be found in the British Newspaper Archives. Puget Sound Media (now QZVX) has collected several articles, many of them with vintage photos of Liz Brewer (Click HERE to view these newspaper clippings).

Several music tracks have accompanied this video in its online life. In this case, I edited the 1965 hit version of “Sloopy” audio into the 1975 dance video. I lip synced it, although they changed the tempo and some of the words in the 1975 song, so sync is not perfect. Frankly, I wish I had never done this modification. Part of the mistaken identity can be traced to viewers not correctly discerning between the version of “Hang On Sloopy” recorded in 1965 and the reggae cover with steel drums and marimba that Lisa Leonard Dalton danced to in 1975. The two versions of the song are both online, along with some other tracks performed by Rick over the years. That creates confusion. For those who want to investigate this further, the speeded-up reggae cover of “Hang On Sloopy” came out on Rick Derringer’s 1975 album called “Spring Fever” and at that time the “Sloopy” track was once again released as a single.

Editorial Update (Feb. 2022)

Lisa Leonard Dalton appeared in an on-camera interview in January 2022. It is the first in a series of several short video interviews. To watch “Up-Close & Personal in Tennessee” click HERE.

When the Deconstructing a Myth video was released in summer 2021 it went viral. Shortly afterwards, YouTube Channels and entertainment websites updated their information to reflect that Lisa Leonard Dalton is the authentic “Sloopy Girl.” The narrative has certainly changed. When entering Lisa Leonard Dalton’s name in a search engine, it’s readily apparent that she now has a strong online presence as the mysterious “Hang on Sloopy”dancer. To learn more about our discovery that Lisa Leonard Dalton is the Sloopy Girl, please click HERE.

Overwhelmingly, thousands of “Sloopy Girl” fans embraced the truth. They asked Lisa to share current photos and to record a cell phone video. On November 5, 2021, Lisa accommodated those requests. While attending a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Knoxville, two of Lisa’s friends took some pictures and she recorded a video greeting. Two of the new photos are included below. To watch Lisa Leonard Dalton’s new video, called November Night in Tennessee, please click HERE.

“Sloopy Girl,” Lisa Leonard Dalton, the “Hang On Sloopy” dancer. (Nov. 5, 2021 photo)
“Hang On Sloopy” dancer, Lisa Leonard Dalton (left) with friend. (Nov. 5, 2021)


Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions. View other articles by Steven Smith
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90 thoughts on “Found Performance: “Hang On Sloopy” w/ Lisa Leonard Dalton

  1. As an FYI…this case is about to be closed. Puget Sound Media now has a positive ID on the dancer that also includes witnesses who knew her in 1975 and before. I am presently putting it all together…much like a prior post I did revealing the status of Greg Aust. This dancing girl video…posted at youtube by different people.. has been viewed online around 50 million plus times with thousands of comments. I do not want to reveal too much until it is complete…other than I will say millions of followers of the dancing girl video will be shocked with the outcome.

  2. Hi, this is from Brazil, my name is Denilson Martins.

    The song was very successful here in a version called “pobre menina” (poor girl). Still in the 1960s. The singers of this version were called “Leno & Lilian”, and here it was number one on the charts. The 60’s version:

    The same version already in this century:

    I’m also quite curious to know who the sexy dancer in this video is, but I already have my bet…based on the photos, Lisa Dalton looks very similar to our goddess of beauty and swagger.

    1. Denilson…a team of us are working right now on getting the reveal out based on our findings. It will include a story here and a video as well. One of the voices will be the real Sloopy Girl….now in her mid-sixties. I am curious…far as I know…at this time the only Lisa Dalton photos that come up online are an actress named Lisa Loving Dalton. And that is not the same Lisa Dalton leaving comments on Sloopy videos. I contacted Lisa Loving Dalton months ago and she did not know what I was talking about. There is a mysterious and publicly unknown Lisa Dalton under the radar. I am certain there will be surprises, shocks and reverberations from this surprising reveal. We hope to get it all public in August but lots of fact checking involved and video production. Thanks for the comment from Brazil.

  3. Steven, looking at the photos, the dancer was definitely NOT Liz Derringer. I can’t say if it was Liz Brewer, but there is a remarkable resemblance between her photos and those of the dancer.

  4. Steven….we have the answer as to her identity. And we are working on the story. I am in regular contact with Sloopy Girl. Her information removes any reasonable doubt as to the identity of the dancer. Hope to get it all out, including a video and an article, this month. Gary Burleigh Shannon, formerly KJR in Seattle, did an awesome job narrating the to be released video. We had hoped that if enough people knew we were trying to ID the girl that something would break. And after a year of looking it did. Before we release it all, we are verifying facts, editing and producing and that takes time.

  5. How hard is it to find someone in the music industry to contact Rick Derringer and ask him if he or any band members spoke with the dancer. If someone did, did the dancer speak with a British accent.

  6. The real Liz Derringer…Liz Agriss Derringer from NYC …has remarried. Her current husband told us she said Rick did not know the girl. She was a studio backlot girl who danced and left. That describes Lisa’s role. Twice I have asked Liz Brewer in UK if she was the dancer. She replied but would not say yes or no. She was never married to Rick. His wives were the real Liz Derringer from NYC…Dyan Buckelew Derringer and current wife Jenda (Brenda Jean). When you eliminate Liz Brewer as Rick’s wife ( mand when his actual wife Liz Agriss Derringer confirmed it was not her dancing, it destroys the whole urban legend that it was Rick’s wife dancing. Then somebody messed it up more by falsely linking Rick and Liz in the UK in matrimony. Maybe I need to clarify Rick’s marriages with photos and years. Lisa Leonard Dalton has photos with 99% matches in facial recognition. Her story makes sense and there are 20 or more witnesses who knew her in 1975. Some of whom knew she had the gig and others who recognize her immediately. Lisa Leonard Dalton is Sloopy Girl.

  7. Thank you Steve for clearing this up.
    Many think it is Liz Brewer..not so..and the video is from 1975, not the sixties…it is Lisa Leonard Dalton.
    I wish people would read more and not insert their stupid commentary before reading factual info.

  8. I will always keep this lady close to my heart. She was and is an inspiration.
    I loved the song but Lisa was it.

  9. Joe..Lisa is a very nice lady. I am so glad I was in the right place at the right time to help her tell her story and to reveal the truth. Lightning struck once that day she performed her iconic Sloopy dance. You are correct. Her dancing makes the video!

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