Sunday, July 06, 2008

Mae West: Van McCoy

MAE WEST, who starred and wrote the screenplay for "Sextette," had asked Van McCoy [1940 1979] to write the theme song, and to make a cameo appearance in her motion picture.
• • "Sextette" was released on 3 March 1978.
• • Singer, songwriter, and music producer Van Allen Clinton McCoy was born on 6 January 1940 in Washington, DC. Van McCoy's musical venture started early on when she sang in the choir. When his brother, Norman, Jr. and two high school buddies formed doo-wop group called the Starlighters, Van became the lead singer, writer, and music director for the group.
• • During the 1960s, Van McCoy penned numerous hit songs for such artists as the Shirelles ("Stop the Music"), Jackie Wilson ("I Get the Sweetest Feeling"), Gladys Knight & the Pips ("Giving Up"), Betty Everett ("Getting Mighty Crowded"), Ruby and the Romantics ("When You're Young and in Love"), Brenda & the Tabulations ("Right on the Tip of My Tongue"), Chris Bartley ("The Sweetest Thing This Side of Heaven"), and Barbara Lewis ("Baby, I'm Yours").
• • In 1966 Van McCoy recorded a solo album for Columbia Records, produced by Mitch Miller.
• • In addition to his many projects, Van McCoy arranged several hits for the Stylistics, formed his own orchestra [Soul City Symphony], and
— — with singers Faith, Hope, and Charity — — recorded several albums and gave numerous live performances.
• • In 1975 Van McCoy, then 35 years old, scored an enormous smash hit with a catchy disco instrumental "The Hustle"; his #1 hit peaked on the Billboard charts during July 1975, sold over a million copies, and won a Grammy Award. He became a household name — — associated with the youth culture and trendy disco fever.
• • Unfortunately, the 39-year-old star was stricken with heart failure in his fashionable home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Without regaining consciousness, he died on 6 July 1979 at Englewood General Hospital.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
"Sextette" • •

Mae West.

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