Before we get to this week’s oldie here are some clues. See if you can guess the artist.
His real name is Ernest Evans.
He’s from Philadelphia.
Billboard magazine said he had the “biggest hit” of the 1960s.
Dick Clark’s wife suggested the last name of his stage name.
Rhythm and blues singer Hank Ballard was the first to record this artist’s biggest hit.
He just turned 76 this week.
Have you figured out who it is?
American D.J. Clay Cole once said, “Chubby Checker has never been properly acknowledged for one major contribution to pop culture—Chubby and the Twist got adults out and onto the dance floor for the first time. Before the Twist dance phenomenon, grownups did not dance to teenage music.”
Wait a minute, Kev. You’re not suggesting The Twist is a forgotten oldie?
Of course not. How could it possibly be?
“Dancing apart to the beat has been with us 24-7 worldwide since 1959, and before Chubby Checker it just wasn’t here,” Checker once said.
“They do Chubby Checker to the Beatles and to Elvis and to Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. It’s the most powerful statement in the music industry without a doubt.
“Before Chubby Checker, there was no aerobics to music. That happened on television when we were demonstrating how to do the Twist. Aerobics was born right there on television.
“Rock and roll didn’t have a dance before the Twist. The Twist is putting out a cigarette with both feet or coming out of the shower and wiping off your bottom with a towel to the beat of the music. If you’re wiping off your bottom with a towel to the beat of the music, you can’t touch your partner at the same time. That instantly gives us this thing we call dancing apart to the beat.”
Checker’s dance craze record hit #1 in the US when it was released in the summer of 1960, and again in 1962 after it was re-released. It is the only song to hit #1 in America twice with identical versions.
Here’s Chubby along with Dee Dee Sharp who had a major dance hit of her own, “Mashed Potato Time.”
This song by the duo went to #3 in 1962.
Conway Twitty, Chubby Checker, and Dick Clark
If you take…
And flip the record over…
Billboard Magazine honored Chubby Checker in 2008 by proclaiming that “The Twist” is the # 1 Record of all time, on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. That was reiterated in the Magazine again, in 2013 & 2015.