The inspiration for the predominantly instrumental single came to McCoy while he was in New York City recording his album. His then music partner, Charles Kipps, watched club patrons do a dance called “the Hustle” at the Adam’s Apple night club. The recordings 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.
Had he not passed away prematurely in 1979, Van McCoy would have turned 77 today.