Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Sunday, April 4, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, # 79

The Twist

Chubby Checker

I think it is fair to say that this song changed the world. Or at least, changed the world of dance. Of all the dances that have been the subject of records, The Twist is one that has stood the test of time. Chubby once said,  "Anyplace on the planet, when someone has a song that has a beat, they're on the floor dancing apart to the beat. And before Chubby Checker, it wasn't here." Clay Cole, on whose TV show Chubby debuted The Twist, 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 very first time. Before the Twist dance phenomenon, grownups did not dance to teenage music."

While Chubby could clearly belt out a tune (he often lamented becoming successful due to The Twist, because after its massive success, his label, and the record-buying public, had him pigeonholed as a dance artist, but he would have loved to be playing the lounges and clubs as more of a crooner), this record was actually a cover of a song written by Hank Ballard and released in 1959 as a b-side. Chubby's version had two runs at the chart, first in 1960, when it peaked at #1, and again in early '62, when it hit the top spot once more, and in doing so became one of the only two records to have hit #1 twice (the other being Bing's "White Christmas").

Chubby is also the only person to have had 5 albums in the Top 12 all at once, and in 2008 Billboard named "The Twist" as the biggest chart hit of all time. He also married a former Miss World, not bad for a singing grocery boy from Spring Gulley, South Carolina.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Complaints, comments, questions, concerns, missing or broken links, etc?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...