On this day in music history: May 27, 1978 - “Use Ta Be My Girl” by The O'Jays hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 5 weeks, and will peak at #4 on the Hot 100 on July 8, 1978. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the eighth R&B chart topper for the R&B vocal trio from Canton, OH. With former Little Anthony & The Imperials member Sammy Strain replacing the late William Powell earlier in 1977, his first album as a full time member is “Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought”, released in May of that year. In spite of spinning off the R&B top ten hit “Work On Me” (#7 R&B), it fails to chart on the Hot 100 with the album itself barely reaching Gold status. Gamble and Huff recommit themselves to coming up with stronger material for the next O'Jays album. Among the three songs the production duo write for them is “Use Ta Be My Girl”. The track is recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia in Late 1977, featuring members of the labels in house studio band including Bobby Eli, Roland Chambers (guitars), Quinton Joseph (drums), Larry Washington (percussion) and Jimmy Williams (bass). Both the producers and the group are somewhat doubtful of the retro sounding songs hit potential until after its release. Issued as the first single from the groups twelfth studio album “So Full Of Love” on March 21, 1978, “Girl” is an immediate smash right out of the gate. The single spends a total of twenty one weeks on the R&B chart and nineteen weeks on the Hot 100, longer than any of their previous hits. The success of the single drives the accompanying album to Platinum status in the US. “Use Ta Be My Girl” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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