There is no label you can put on Van McCoy, he wrote great Doo-Wops, R&B, Soul, Pop, Novelty, Heart Wrenching Ballads, Disco, Northern Soul, Popcorn, Beat Ballads and this list can go on & on & on.
Here is His Story................
Van McCoy was born as Van Allen Clinton McCoy in Washington D.C. on January 1940, by his mid teens he formed a vocal group with his brother Norman McCoy, Fred Smith, Paul Comedy & Bernard Wisenant called the Starlighters. In 1958, The Starlighter cut their first single with both sides written by Van for New York's George Goldner End Records "The Birdland" the B side was "It's Twelve O'Clock".
George Goldner must have really liked the group cause their second single "You're The One To Blame" backed by "I Cried" was released in 1959. The single was reviewed on June 20, 1959 receiving Excellent 4 stars.
By 1960, the final Starlighters single came out on End with "The Story of Love" and "Let's Take a Stroll". Actually Van Was a student at Howard University for a couple of years but in 1961 he decided to start a record label based out originally Philadelphia called Rock'N.
The first release on Rock'N was Van solo record called "That's How Much You Mean To Me" backed by the rocking soulful "I Wantcha Back". The second Rock'N release was Van's own "Mr. DJ" backed by "Never Trust a Friend". Scepter picked up distribution of the single, with Mr. DJ" becoming a hit reaching number 104 on the Billboard charts. Van also has the very dreamy "Girls Are Sentimental" & his first co-composition with Luther Dixon called "Baby Don't Tease Me". The other artist who recorded for Rock'N was a group called The Twylights "Darling Let's Fall In Love" backed by "If You Try".
It was in 1961 that Van writes several intersting records first let's start with Lee Andrews very "In The Still of the Night" style "A Nite Like Tonight" backed by the Drifters sounding "You Gave To Me" released on Swan records and reviewed Good by Billboard on May 29, 1961.
Next in 1961, Van came in contact with Jerry Ross who produced a Van McCoy penned two sider on Sheryl records with a vocal group called The Larks "There is a Girl" a rocking Doo Wop with Weldon McDougal on bass & the ballad "Let's Drink a Toast".
The last one we are going to cover is The Gainors featuring Garnett Mimms and the future Enchanters. Van first wrote for them the very Drifters "This is a Perfect Moment" on Talley Ho Records. He then wrote second song "Tell Him" which resembles The Drifters "Dance With Me".
Part 2 will be coming soon focusing on 1962-1963 years, featuring his time with Scepter, Leiber-Stoller & the Allen Davis years for Arock & Philips.