Chubby Checker was born Ernest Evans in Spring Gully, South Carolina. He’s the only artist known to have placed five albums in the Top 12 simultaneously, and claims to have changed the way we dance to the beat of the music.
In 1959, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters recorded a song called “The Twist” as the B-side to “Teardrops On Your Letter.” They had a minor hit with it in 1960, and the kids on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, then based in Philadelphia, enjoyed dancing to it so much that Clark tried to book Ballard on the show. When he was unable to do so, he booked another singer, a local act named Chubby Checker, who sounded like Ballard. Bolstered by Chubby’s appearances on American Bandstand and Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Show, the song reached #1 for one week in 1960. In late 1961 into 1962, the Twist caught on in “high society,” and the record was re-released in 1962 and again reached #1, making it the first record to reach #1 in two separate releases.
Chubby later lamented that the record ruined his life, because he was well on his way to being a big nightclub performer, all of which came to an end with chart success. Nevertheless, he continued to record uptempo dance songs, reaching #1 again in 1961 with “The Pony.”
Chubby’s continued to perform and record, and most recently released “Changes” in 2013, which did well on the gospel charts. Later that year, he sued Hewlett Packard over the use of his name on a WebOS application that purported to estimate a gentleman’s endowment based on his shoe size.
Chubby Checker, your two for Tuesday, February 6, 2018.