Saturday, November 04, 2006

Number 743 - Chubby Checker

Number 743

Chubby Checker

"The Twist"


Genre:Rock n Roll
Ahh the infancy of it all, when rock was just in nappies and crawling around for light. Once the infant spawn, Rock n Roll crawled out of the dark waters and grew into the Elvis & Beatles we all now know.

Chubby Checker was the unrivaled king of the rock & roll dance craze; although most of the dances his records promoted -- the Pony, "the Fly," and the Hucklebuck, to cite just three -- have long since faded into obscurity, his most famous hit, "The Twist," remains the yardstick against which all subsequent dancefloor phenomena are measured. Born Ernest Evans on October 3, 1941, in Philadelphia, he worked in a local poultry shop while in high school, and while on the job often entertained customers by singing and cracking jokes. His workplace antics helped win an audition with the local Cameo-Parkway label, who signed the fledgling singer in 1959; at the suggestion of no less than Dick Clark's wife, the portly youth was re-christened Chubby Checker, the name a sly reference to Fats Domino.

Checker's first single, "The Class," showcased his skills as an impressionist; while the record became a minor novelty hit, none of its immediate follow-ups were successful. In 1960, however, he recorded "The Twist," a cover of a 1958 Hank Ballard & the Midnighters B-side; Checker's rendition de-emphasized the original's overtly sexual overtones, focusing instead on the song's happy-go-lucky charms. The single rocketed to number one during the autumn of 1960, remaining on the charts for four months; some time after it dropped off, it slowly returned to prominence, and in late 1961 it hit number one again; the only record ever to enjoy two stays at the top more than a year apart. After "The Twist" first made Checker a superstar, he returned to the top in 1961 with "Do the Pony"; that same year, he also reached the Top Ten with "Let's Twist Again," which assured the dance's passage from novelty to institution.

In addition to 1961's "The Fly," Checker's other Top Ten hits included three 1962 smashes: "Slow Twistin'," "Limbo Rock," and "Popeye the Hitchhiker." He even starred in a pair of feature films, Twist Around the Clock and Don't Knock the Twist. In total, Checker notched 32 chart hits before the bubble burst in 1966; as interest in dance novelties dwindled, he briefly turned to folk music, and became a regular on the nightclub circuit. From the 1970s onward, he was a staple of oldies revival tours; in 1982, more than a decade after his last studio LP, he signed with MCA and issued the disco-inspired The Change Has Come, scoring a pair of minor hits with the singles "Running" and "Harder Than Diamond." In 1988, Checker returned to the Top 40 for the first time in a quarter century when he appeared on the Fat Boys' rap rendition of "The Twist," and he continued touring regularly throughout the decade to follow. ~ [Jason Ankeny]
For Elvis Presley see Number 443, #501 & #840
For the Beatles see Number 489, #587, #894 & #947
For Fats Domino see Number 441
What does Rolling Stone Magazine think about Chubby?
The Twist" began as a B side for Ballard and the Midnighters in 1958, a throwaway dance-instruction song. But in 1960, former chicken plucker Checker covered it at Dick Clark's suggestion. It became so wildly popular that it hit Number One twice, first in '60, then again in '62 -- the only single in history to accomplish that feat. "Going crazy is what I was looking for -- where the music is so good you lose control," Checker said. " 'The Twist' did that." ~ [Source: Rolling Sone]
Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Chubby Checker ... Click on the address
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 451 the Album ranked at Number (Whatever Trevor)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 66.5 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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