August 4, 1993 – Randy Jo Hobbs was born on March 22nd 1948 in Winchester, Indiana.
Already fronting his own band the Coachmen at age 17, he soon joined brothers Rick (later known as Rick Derringer and Randy Zehringer, a Union City Indiana garage band called The McCoys (originally Rick and the Raiders) from 1965 to 1969 during which time their hit “Hang On Sloopy” became a global hit. The song sold some 6 million copies and was the McCoys entry in the big league, opening up for giant acts of the era like the Rolling Stones. When the song’s popularity ran out of steam, they became the house band for a popular New York hotspot called Steve Paul’s The Scene where they were introduced to Texas guitar God in the making Johnny Winter. Lacking more hits the band soon turned into backing guitar phenomenon Johnny Winter in the seventies.
As a band the McCoys called it quits in 1973 and Hobbs stayed a while longer with Johnny Winter but later played in brother Edgar Winter’s White Trash from until around 1976. White Trash was comprised of Southern musicians, one of which was another guitar giant, Ronnie Montrose. This led to Randy playing with a later version of Montrose, on the ‘Jump on It’ album, released in 1976.
Earlier Randy had played bass with Jimi Hendrix on some 1968 live sessions which were later released unofficially as Woke Up This Morning and Found Myself Dead in 1980 and New York Sessions in 1998, and officially as Bleeding Heart in 1994. At this time he unfortunately developed a huge heroin dependency that ultimately would cause his demise in 1993
In 1978 he also played bass on Rick Derringer’s album with Dick Glass, “Glass Derringer”.
Drug abuse took a toll on Randy Hobbs, and ultimately consumed his career as a musician. A front man can stumble out onto the stage and sleepwalk through the set, but an out-of-control side player is done for. Randy Hobbs was fired from Johnny Winter’s band and returned to Randolph County where he lived out his life.
Randy Jo Hobbs was found dead in a Dayton hotel room on August 5, 1993 – Rick Derringer’s birthday. The cause was heart failure. He was 45.