On this day in music history: October 25, 1975 – “To Each…

On this day in music history: October 25, 1975 – “To Each His Own” by Faith, Hope & Charity hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart, also peaking at #50 on the Hot 100 on September 20, 1975. Written and produced by Van McCoy, it is the biggest hit for the R&B/Disco vocal group from Tampa, FL. Originally known as The Lovelles and consisting of vocalists Zulema Cusseaux, Albert Bailey and Brenda Hilliard, the group are given their name “Faith, Hope & Charity” by producer Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons). But it is with another star producer that the trio have their greatest success. In 1970, they sign to Maxwell Records and begin working with Van McCoy. The collaboration pays off quickly when their score their first hit single “So Much Love” (#14 R&B, #51 Pop) in the Spring of 1970. Cusseaux leaves the group in 1971 to pursue a solo career, while Bailey and Hilliard continue on as a duo, moving to Sussex Records. In 1974, Faith, Hope & Charity gain a new member with the addition of Dianne Destry. Along with that change also comes a change of record label, when the group move to RCA Records in 1975 after the demise of their former label Sussex Records. With Van McCoy back at the helm production wise, they begin work on their debut album for RCA at their studios in New York City. McCoy writes or co-writes seven of the nine songs on the album including the mid tempo groove “To Each His Own”. Having scored his own recent smash with “The Hustle”, the producer utilizes many of the same musicians that played on that classic including Steve Gadd (drums), Eric Gale, David Spinozza (guitar), Gordon Edwards (bass), Richard Tee, Leon Pendarvis (keyboards) and Gene Orloff (string arrangement). Buoyed by the trio’s spirited and soulful vocals, “To Each His Own” quickly becomes a smash on club dance floors and hits on R&B radio after its release as a single in August of 1975. McCoy also utilizes their vocal talents on another project he’s producing at the same time, when they sing on former Temptation David Ruffin’s comeback smash “Walk Away From Love” (#1 R&B, #9 Pop). The group score more chart hits in the US with the follow up “Don’t Go Looking For Love” (#38 R&B), and a cover version of Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” (#15 UK) in the UK. Faith, Hope & Charity land their last sizeable hit in 1978 with “Don’t Pity Me” (#20 R&B), after which Dianne Destry leaves the group, which splits following her departure. Acknowledged as a disco classic, “To Each His Own” is also covered by bandleader and composer Enoch Light, and also a version released by Van McCoy himself.