The Hustle – Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) and R&B (#1); 1975

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Without The Hustle, Van McCoy – a very talented song writer, arranger, and producer – might still be unknown outside of the music business. Yet, it’s a hit that almost wasn’t.

While Van put the finishing touches on arrangements for a recording session the next day, his business partner, Charles Kipps Jr., checked out a new dance at New York City’s Adam’s Apple nightclub.

Kipps saw The Latin Hustle which, unlike other contemporary dances, included hand-holding and touching akin to ballroom dancing. Kipps bugged Van to do something with it so Van quickly wrote down whatever came to mind and, with an hour of studio time left, recorded The Hustle.

Unaware of dance life outside of New York City, Van was floored by Hustle‘s success, which introduced disco dancing to the world.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Hugo Peretti
  • Luigi Creatore

Lyrics Written by:

  • Van McCoy


  • Won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance early in 1976 for songs recorded in 1975.