This was the instrumental song, written by Van McCoy, that brought global recognition to the 1975 disco line-dancing craze called “The Hustle” that was performed in dance halls and clubs all over the world. Van McCoy and his Soul City Symphony released it and it shot to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and No. 3 in the UK. It would appear on Van McCoy’s Disco Baby and win him the 1975 Grammy Award for Top Instrumental Artist. Van McCoy composed the song after the DJ David Todd told him about the dance at Adam’s Apple, which was a nightclub in New York City. He actually sent his friend Charlie Kipps to check it out and once he returned and showed it to him, he decided to use it as the last track of Disco Baby, wrote it in about an hour and later said he wrote “whatever came into his head”.
The hustle itself is a 1970s dance that was first seen in Florida and New York’s Hispanic communities and takes its roots from the styles of the mambo and salsa among others of that ilk. With the comeback of 70s style music and parties The Hustle is regaining the popularity it held over three decades ago.
Van McCoy recordings
AVCO 6105 038 (UK 45)