Saturday, July 26, 1975

Van McCoy “The Hustle” hit #1

The Hustle

Van McCoy

Writer(s): Van McCoy (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 19, 1975

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 11 HR, 11 RR, 2 AC, 11 RB, 3 UK, 12 CN, 9 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 63.6 video, 17.06 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“The Hustle” was a dance before it was a song. Puerto Rican teens in the South Bronx, many from a motorcycle gang, invented the dance. It went through various versions and names and gained popularity in New York clubs. The Fatback Band tried to capitalize on it in 1975 with “Spanish Hustle” and James Brown released “Hustle!!! (Dead on It).” SG However it was Van McCoy who found the greatest success.

He was a “music industry lifer” SG from Washington, DC. who was playing piano by age four and writing songs at 12. He dropped out of school as a teen, moved to Philadelphia, and started a label called Rockin’ Records with his uncle. FB In the early ‘60s, he worked as a staff songwriter with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. He wrote minor hits for Gladys Knight & the Pips and Ruby & the Romantics and came close to the top 10 with Barbara Lewis’ 1965 “Baby I’m Yours” and the Presidents’ “5-10-15-20 (25 Years of Love” from 1970. He put together Peaches & Herb and arranged songs for the Stylistics. SG

In 1975, McCoy released Disco Baby, a mostly instrumental and “fairly forgettable collection of slickster funk” SG which included lackuster covers of the Ohio Players’ “Fire” and the Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces.” However, the album also included “The Hustle.” McCoy saw people doing the dance at a New York club called Adam’s Apple and wrote and recorded “The Hustle” with an hour of studio time left over. SG

The song “didn’t have the pulsing stomp or the vocal operatics” SG that would come with later disco hits. It did, however, feature a “tense bassline… the glimmers of guitar, the bass-drum kick,” SG and the “cooling session vocalists” SG interjecting the command to “do the hustle” into an otherwise instrumental song. The Grammy winner for Best Pop Instrumental became a “landmark in the disco movement, and remains one of the records most closely associated with the 1970s dance craze.” JA


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Van McCoy
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 410.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 80.
  • SG Stereogum (7/30/2019). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 10/23/2022.

Willie Nelson Red-Headed Stranger charted

Red-Headed Stranger

Willie Nelson

Released: May 1975

Charted: July 26, 1975

Peak: 28 US, 12 CW, -- UK, 90 CN, 88 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Time of the Preacher
  2. I Couldn’t Believe It Was True
  3. Time of the Preacher (Theme)
  4. Medley: Blue Rock Montana/ Red Headed Stranger
  5. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (7/19/75, 21 BB, 1 CW, 12 AC)
  6. Red Headed Stranger
  7. Time of the Preacher (Theme)
  8. Just As I Am
  9. Denver
  10. O’er the Waves
  11. Down Yonder
  12. Can I Sleep in Your Arms?
  13. Remember Me (When the Candlelights Are Gleaming) (1/3/76, 67 BB, 2 CW)
  14. Hands on the Wheel
  15. Bandera


4.301 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“In the early Seventies, Willie Nelson was a songwriter legend, with such classics as ‘Crazy’ and ‘Hello Walls’ behind him, but wasn't a major-league artist on his own. When his Nashville home burned down, he hightailed it back to Texas and began remaking himself as a country music outlaw, as he and such kindred, independent spirits as Waylon Jennings became known. With Red Headed Stranger, a self-produced (heresy to the Nashville establishment) concept album” TL that “perhaps is the strangest blockbuster country produced,” AMG “Nelson introduced a new sense of ambition and possibility to the genre.” TL

Red Headed Stranger tells the story of a renegade “preacher on the run after murdering his departed wife and her new lover.” AMG The story is “told entirely with brief song-poems and utterly minimal backing. It’s defiantly anticommercial and it demands intense concentration – all reasons why nobody thought it would be a hit, a story related in Chet Flippo’s liner notes to the 2000 reissue.” AMG

“It was a phenomenal blockbuster, though;” AMGBlue Eyes Crying in the Rain was a Number One [country] single.” TL The success of the album helped in “establishing Nelson as a superstar recording artist in its own right.” AMG

“For all its success, it still remains a prickly, difficult album, though, making the interspersed concept of Phases and Stages sound shiny in comparison. It’s difficult because it's old-fashioned, sounding like a tale told around a cowboy campfire. Now, this all reads well on paper, and there’s much to admire in Nelson's intimate gamble, but it's really elusive, as the themes get a little muddled and the tunes themselves are a bit bare. It's undoubtedly distinctive – and it sounds more distinctive with each passing year – but it's strictly an intellectual triumph and, after a pair of albums that were musically and intellectually sound, it's a bit of a letdown, no matter how successful it was.” AMG

Regardless, the album could well be attributed to launching the outlaw country movement – “when Stranger was followed up with the breakthrough collection Wanted! The Outlaws (with Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser), country music had entered a new era – and Willie Nelson was an international superstar.” TL


The 2000 CD reissue added “Bach Minuet in G,” “Can’t Help It if I’m Still in Love with You,” “A Maiden’s Prayer,” and “Bonaparte’s Retreat.”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/3/2008; last updated 3/21/2024.

Friday, July 18, 1975

Bob Marley & the Wailers recorded Live! At the Lyceum

Live! At the Lyceum

Bob Marley & the Wailers

Recorded: July 18, 1975

Released: December 19, 1975

Peak: 90 US, 47 RB, 38 UK, 51 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: reggae


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Trench Town Rock (11/71, --)
  2. Burnin’ and Lootin’
  3. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
  4. Lively Up Yourself (1971, --)
  5. No Woman, No Cry (8/75, 8 UK)
  6. I Shot the Sheriff (2/74, --)
  7. Get Up, Stand Up (9/73, --)

Single releases and chart data for original studio versions.

Total Running Time: 45:15

The Players:

  • Bob Marley (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass)
  • Carlton “Carlie” Barrett (drums, percussion)
  • Tyrone Downie (keyboards)
  • Al Anderson (guitar)
  • Alvin “Seeco” Patterson (percussion)
  • Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, Griffiths (backing vocals)


4.412 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the most memorable concert recordings of the pop music era” – Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

This captured Marley & Company’s appearance at the Lyceum Ballroom in London “during the final U.K. leg of the Natty Dread tour. Passionate and symbiotic energies constantly cycle between the band and audience, the net result of which is one of the most memorable concert recordings of the pop music era.” AMG

“With the addition of lead guitarist Al Anderson during the recording sessions for their previous long-player, Natty Dread, the Wailers took increasing strides toward a seamless transition into the consciousness of the rock music audience. Anderson's bluesy guitar runs liberate Burnin’ and Lootin’ as well as Trench Town Rock…Anderson bobs and weaves his supple-toned fretwork among the somewhat staid rhythms common to reggae.” AMG

“The mutual affinity that binds Marley with his audience is evident in the roars of approval that greet the opening notes of Them Belly Full (But We Hungry), I Shot the Sheriff, and Kinky Reggae. Likewise, No Woman, No Cry elicits a group singalong as the sheer volume of the audience challenges that of the amplified musicians. With this evidence, there is no denying that Bob Marley & the Wailers were becoming the unlikeliest of pop music icons.” AMG

“Additionally, Live! underscores the underrated talents of the Wailers as musicians. Older works, such as ‘Burnin’ and Lootin’’ and ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ benefit greatly from Tyrone Downie’s keyboard punctuation and the soulful backing vocals of the I-Threes.” AMG

Notes: The 2001 Definitive Remasters reissue adds "Kinky Reggae," which was originally released as the B-side to "No Woman, No Cry." The track was taken from the same Lyceum performance.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 5/10/2021.

Friday, July 11, 1975

Fleetwood Mac release first album with Buckingham & Nicks

First posted 7/27/2011; last updated 10/17/2020.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Released: July 11, 1975

Peak: 11 US, 23 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.1 UK, 9.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Monday Morning ( Buckingham) [2:48] (12 CL)
  2. Warm Ways (C. McVie) [3:54]
  3. Blue Letter (Michael Curtis, Richard Curtis) [2:41] (26 CL)
  4. Rhiannon (Nicks) [4:11] (3/6/76, 11 US, 1 CL, 33 AC, 46 UK, 4 CN, 13 AU, airplay: 3 million)
  5. Over My Head (C. McVie) [4:11] (10/25/75, 20 US, 4, CL, 32 AC, 9 CN, airplay: 2 million)
  6. Crystal (Nicks) [5:14]
  7. Say You Love Me (C. McVie) [4:11] (7/4/76, 11 US, 3 CL, 12 AC, 40 UK, 29 CN, 38 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  8. Landslide (Nicks) [3:19] (2/14/98, 48a US, 5 CL, 10 AC)
  9. World Turning (C. McVie/Buckinham) [4:25] (10 CL)
  10. Sugar Daddy (C. McVie) [4:10]
  11. I’m So Afraid (Buckingham) [4:22] (26 CL)

Total Running Time: 42:12

The Players:

  • Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar, et al)
  • Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine)
  • Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
  • John McVie (bass)
  • Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)


4.345 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


About the Album:

Although it was the band’s tenth album, Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled release was a rebirth. “With the ‘classic’ Fleetwood Mac and departed guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer a fading memory, namesakes and rhythm section Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), along with second generation survivor Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards), let go of their British blues heritage and linked with a failed Californian pop-rock duo, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. That move, born of desperation, yields this 1975 classic: unveiling a taut, well-oiled pop rock band boasting three distinctive singers and songwriters in Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie.” SS

The album took more than a year before hitting #1, a record which held until 1989 when Paul Abdul’s Forever Your Girl took 64 weeks to reach the summit. WK On the strength of three top 20 songs, Fleetwood Mac took the group out of its usually sales bracket of about 300,000 to 500,000 and launched them into the multi-million range. WK

Monday Morning, a sunny slice of folk-rock with Beach Boys harmonies, opens Fleetwood Mac and makes it clear that the band is no longer a blues-rock outfit.” STE “While Buckingham only contributed three songs, he helped the band develop a coherent vision” STE as well as “extraordinary arrangements and versatile acoustic and electric guitars.” SS

McVie showcases “remarkably improved pop-soul” STE and contributes “some of her finest songs, including the sighing Over My Head and the bouncy Say You Love Me.” STE

“Nicks’ songs function as folky counterpoints to McVie’s sweet pop.” STE She serves up “sultry rock ballads” SS and “hippie anthems.” STE “She rarely ever wrote songs as memorably affecting as Rhiannon or Landslide.” STE

“Remarkably, Fleetwood Mac is a blockbuster album that isn’t dominated by its hit singles, and its album tracks (World Turning, Sugar Daddy, Crystal) demonstrate a depth of both songwriting and musicality that would blossom fully on Rumours.” STE Of course, one shouldn’t overlook “the undeniable horsepower of the founding fathers’ rock-solid rhythm work.” SS

Notes: A 2004 expanded edition added alternate versions of “Say You Love Me,” “Rhiannon,” “Over My Head,” “Blue Letter,” and non-album cut “Jam No. 2.”

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, July 4, 1975

50 years ago: “Sweet Georgia Brown” hit #1

Sweet Georgia Brown

Ben Bernie

Writer(s): Ben Bernie, Kenneth Casey, Maceo Pinkard (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 27, 1925

Peak: 15 US, 2 GA, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.46 video, 0.29 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The song that has become adopted in 1952 as the theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters WK was introduced in 1925 by Ben Bernie. He was born Benjamin Anzelevitz in New Jersey in 1891. He was a jazz violinist and vaudeville performer before he started a dance band and became a radio personality. He charted 44 songs from 1923 to 1936 with three chart-toppers – “Sweet Georgia Brown” (1925), “Sleepy Time Gal” (1926), and “Ain’t She Sweet?” (1927).

Bernie reportedly came up with the lyrical concept (although Kenneth Casey is the credited lyricist) after meeting Dr. George Thaddeus Brown, a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives. Brown told Bernie how the Georgia General Assembly had issued a declaration that his daughter, born in 1911, was to be named Georgia after the state. WK

“The chorus lyrics assure us there is no gal has even been made like ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’ She may have two left feet, but she is really neat. The only men she can’t attract are those she hasn’t met. The chorus ends with ‘Georgia claimed her, Georgia named her, Sweet Georgia Brown.’” TY2

“Sweet Georgia Brown” became one of the most recorded songs during the pre-rock era. TY2 There have been chart versions by Brother Bones (#10, 1949), Bing Crosby (#2, 1932), Isham Jones (#5, 1925), and Ethel Waters (#6, 1925). PM The instrumental version by Brother Bones is the one adopted by the Harlem Globetrotters. WK

Others to record the song included Louis Armstrong, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Cab Calloway, Roberta Flack, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Tony Sheridan with the Beatles, Nancy Sinatra, and Art Tatum. WK It has also been featured in musicals and movies including Broadway (1942), Some Like It Hot (1959), Bubbling Brown Sugar (1976), Oscar (1991), and Sweet and Low Down (1999). TY2


First posted 4/25/2023.