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Van McCoy

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Van McCoy
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Van Allen Clinton McCoy (January 6, 1940 July 6, 1979) was an American musician, record producer, arranger, songwriter, singer and orchestra conductor. He is known best for his 1975 internationally successful song "The Hustle". He has approximately 700 song copyrights to his credit, and is also noted for producing songs for such recording artists as Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Stylistics, Aretha Franklin, Brenda & the Tabulations, David Ruffin, Peaches & Herb and Stacy Lattisaw.

Van McCoy was born in Washington, D.C., the second child of Norman S. McCoy, Sr. and Lillian Ray. He learned to play piano at a young age and sang with the Metropolitan Baptist Church choir as a youngster.

By the age of 12, he had begun writing his own songs, in addition to performing in local amateur shows alongside his older brother, Norman Jr. The two brothers formed a doo-wop combo named the Starlighters with two friends while in Roosevelt High School. In 1956 they recorded a single entitled, "The Birdland", a novelty dance record.

It gained some interest, resulting in a tour with drummer Vi Burnsides. In 1959 the Starlighters produced three singles for End Records that included "I Cried". Marriage and other commitments eventually caused the group to disband during the mid-1950s. Van also sang with a group called the Marylanders.

During 1961, McCoy met Kendra Spotswood (also known as Sandi Sheldon) who lived near his family. For the next five years, they sang and recorded music together professionally. Their relationship ended when McCoy delayed their wedding plans because of a work contract he had signed with Columbia Records.

#1 - April 29, 2017, 09:54:25 AM

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#2 - April 29, 2017, 09:56:52 AM
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The Hustle


"The Hustle" is a disco song by songwriter/arranger Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. It went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts during the summer of 1975. It also peaked at number 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and number 3 in the UK.

 It would eventually sell over one million copies. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance early in 1976 for songs recorded in 1975.

While in New York City to make an album, McCoy composed the song after his music partner, Charles Kipps, watched patrons do a dance known as "the Hustle" in the nightclub Adam's Apple. The sessions were done at New York's Media Sound studio with pianist McCoy, bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Richard Tee, guitarists Eric Gale and John Tropea, and orchestra leader Gene Orloff. Producer Hugo Peretti contracted piccolo player Philip Bodner to play the lead melody.

During the summer of 1975, "The Hustle" became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 21 song for 1975. It also peaked at number 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and number 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

According to producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, who owned the Avco record label that originally released "The Hustle", McCoy met with them shortly before his death in 1979 to discuss ideas for a new, longer version of the song, in order to appease Avco's UK and German affiliates who were clamoring for a 12" disco single release. The new version, clocking in at just under 6-and-a-half minutes, was assembled posthumously as a remix, using parts of the original recording plus new parts, including drum, Syndrum, and a "little" Moog synthesizer. It was credited to Van McCoy alone or with an unnamed orchestra, mixed by "The Mix Masters", identity unknown.
#3 - April 29, 2017, 10:01:36 AM
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