It’s Tuesday Bluesday! Today, we celebrate ‘The Twist’ by Chubby Checker going no. 1 on the US singles chart in September of 1960.
It’s the dance that defined a decade. Chubby Checker burst onto the scene in 1960 with an infectious melody and a simple, but effective, accompanying dance move.
‘The Twist’ topped the Hot 100 in September, thanks to Dick Clark’s constant promotion and the dance move. He’s described the twist as someone toweling himself off while grinding a cigarette butt with his toes. It was a simple dance that didn’t require touching or even a partner. The dance was so popular, in fact, that after ‘The Twist’ left the charts, twisting stayed on the floor.
In July 1960, before the single went to no. 1, Checker performed ‘The Twist’ for the first time in front of a live audience at the Rainbow Club in Wildwood, New Jersey. Just weeks later, on August 6, 1960, the song became a national sensation after Checker performed it on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in none other than Philadelphia.
On a personal note, my Aunt Rita went to school with Chubby Checker! Checker, then Ernest Evans, was raised right here in Philadelphia. He used to entertain his classmates by doing impressions of popular entertainers of the day, like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino.
So give ‘The Twist’ another listen today, on this Tuesday Bluesday. Give Philly legend Chubby Checker your love. Teach your kids and grandkids how to do the twist!