Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” is the #1 song in America - HISTORY
Year
1975

Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” is the #1 song in America

For as popular as it was during much of the first half of the 20th century, couples dancing seemed poised to go by the wayside of American popular culture by the early 1970s. That is, until the arrival of a dance called the Hustle along with a #1 song by the same name. On this day in 1975, Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts simultaneously, signaling the beginning of the disco era.

Disco Baby and, of course, writing and recording "The Hustle.”

“The Hustle” would earn Van McCoy a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and give him the biggest hit by far of his tragically shortened career (he died of a heart attack in 1979). The impact of the record went well beyond its commercial success, however. As “The Hustle” climbed the pop charts, it took an already substantial dance craze and turned it into a cultural phenomenon, with variations like the Latin, the Line and the New York Hustles popping up on dance floors nationwide.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

FBI founded

On July 26, 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is born when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte orders a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice. One year later, the Office of the Chief ...read more

Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal

The Suez Crisis begins when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the British and French-owned Suez Canal.The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas across Egypt, was completed by French engineers in 1869. For the next 87 years, it remained largely ...read more

Liberian independence proclaimed

The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society, declares its independence. Under pressure from Britain, the United States hesitantly accepted Liberian sovereignty, making the West African nation the first democratic republic in African history. A ...read more

Winston Churchill resigns

In the 11th hour of World War II, Winston Churchill is forced to resign as British prime minister following his party’s electoral defeat by the Labour Party. It was the first general election held in Britain in more than a decade. The same day, Clement Attlee, the Labour leader, ...read more

U.S. postal system established

On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system. During early colonial times in the ...read more

United States freezes Japanese assets

On this day in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt seizes all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China.On July 24, Tokyo decided to strengthen its position in terms of its invasion of China by moving through Southeast ...read more

Bob Mathias wins second Olympic decathlon

On July 26, 1952, at the XV Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland, American Bob Mathias wins his second straight gold medal in the Olympic decathlon.Bob Mathias was born on November 17, 1930, in Tulare, California. After a series of boyhood growth spurts left him underweight and anemic, ...read more

John Quincy Adams marries Louisa Johnson

On this day in 1797, future President John Quincy Adams, the son of second President John Adams, marries Louisa Johnson in London, England. Louisa was–and remains– the only foreign-born first lady of the United States. Louisa’s parents were English colonists living in Maryland ...read more

Officer Wyatt Earp fatally wounds cowboy

Attempting to preserve the peace in Dodge City, Assistant Marshal Wyatt Earp trades shots with a band of drunken cowboys, fatally wounding one of them.Although he ended up on the wrong side of the law later in life, as a young man Wyatt Earp’s most consistent occupation was as a ...read more

Entertainer Mick Jagger born

On this day in 1943, the musician, actor, film producer and Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger is born in Dartford, Kent, England.Raised in a middle-class English family, Michael Philip Jagger attended the London School of Economics but left without graduating in order to ...read more

Grasshoppers bring ruin to Midwest

On this day in 1931, a swarm of grasshoppers descends on crops throughout the American heartland, devastating millions of acres. Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, already in the midst of a bad drought, suffered tremendously from this disaster. Since the very beginning of ...read more

Real-life Psycho Ed Gein dies

On July 26, 1984, Ed Gein, a serial killer infamous for skinning human corpses, dies of complications from cancer in a Wisconsin prison at age 77. Gein served as the inspiration for writer Robert Bloch’s character Norman Bates in the 1959 novel “Psycho,” which in 1960 was turned ...read more

Truman signs the National Security Act

President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, which becomes one of the most important pieces of Cold War legislation. The act established much of the bureaucratic framework for foreign policymaking for the next 40-plus years of the Cold War. By July 1947, the Cold ...read more

Three race fans killed at Michigan Speedway

The U.S. 500, the most prestigious race in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series, dissolves into tragedy on this day in 1998, when three fans are killed and six others wounded by flying debris from a car at Michigan Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. CART (later known as ...read more