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Chubby Checker

Stage Name

Birth Name

"Chubby Checker"

Ernest Evans

Chubby C & OD  

   Chubby Checker made the " Twist" as well as a few other dances a household word or maybe the Twist made Chubby Checker a household word, in any case, most people think of Chubby Checker when they think of the Twist dance and vice-a-versa. Checker became an overnight Rock and Roll sensation.

   However it was not Evans who wrote that song or invented the dance. Hank Ballard was the one who wrote and sung the song originally while watching teenagers do the dance at a nightclub in the 1959. There is no record of who or how this dance came to be. However historians have traced it back to the 190's with the more blatantly sexual, bump and grind dances which were popular in black music halls with the Southern African-American Vernacular dancers.

   Evans got his nickname "Chubby" from his boss while in high school working part time as a chicken Plucker at the Fresh Farm Poultry store and

Chubby Checker Autograph

Dick Clarke's wife deemed him his moniker of Chubby Checker after Fats Domino (get it Checkers /Dominoes...hehe!.) He later recorded a small hit song in 1959 called "The Class." Dick Clarke signed Chubby Checker to record Ballard's tune called the Twist in July of 1959 and Fourteen months later became a No. 1 hit, not once but twice, once in the summer of 1960 -- and then again in 1961! which is the only song ever to be a number one hit two years in a row and his rendition of the Dance helped spawn a new fad. Checker lays claim to most all the dances of the 1960's, though he did not invent any of them, he did help make many popular in his renditions to his songs and dance style which may or may not have been as successful with another, we'll never know, but who cares, Chubby was the man in the early 1960's when it came to the fad dances and songs.

   What was leading the way for dances like the Twist you ask, the answer is "the television and sand, yes Sand." Surfing was becoming extremely popular in the late 1950's with the young and sand was replacing the dance floors and the beach as their dance hall. This sand would prove the Death Kill to any of the dances that required spinning or traveling while promoting stationary dances, done in place such as the Twist, Swim, Surf, Surfer Stomp, Fly, Hucklebuck, Pony, Frug, Ska, Watusi, and Monkey. These dancers would basically just stand in place on the beach and dance which lead the way for The Go-Go dancers. And now that televisions were affordably available in most homes, people could watch shows like American Bandstand and learn these dances such as the twist.

   As of 2005, Checker still resides in Philly where he's lived since 1965, and he is still actively touring and singing many new as well as his older hit songs everyone came to love, namely his Twist songs that helped spawn a whole generation of music and dance. Evans has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as of 2005) and why he hasn't is beyond me, but it doesn't really matter, Chubby Checker will survive along with the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, etcetera long after the unknown members of the Rock and Roll Hall of fame have past on. He is in the hearts of the people and no committee can ever change that.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

Spring Gulley, SC 3/10/1941 Catherina Lodders (Miss World 1962) 3 Children
       
More Photos

Dance Types

Theatres

Music Titles

Continental Walk, the 1958 - Palace Center (Buffalo, NY) 1959 - Class, the (His first song)
Fly, the     1962 - Continental Walk, the
Hitch Hike     $1962 - Dancin' Party
Hucklebuck     Doin' The Vampire
Limbo     $ Doin' The Zombie
Mashed Potato       $ 1961 - Fly
Mess Around, the     $ 1960 - Hucklebuck
Pony, the     $ 1962 - Limbo Rock
Twist     1961 - Let's Twist Again [ SM]
Vampire, The     Lose Your Inhibitions Twist [ SM]
Zombie, The     $ Mash Potato Love
      1961 - Mess Around
            $ 1961 - Pony Time
          $1962 - Popeye (Hitchhike)
          1962 - Ray Charles-ton, the
          Surf Party and also Let's Surf Again
          Twist Around the Clock [ SM]
          $ The Twist [ SM]
          $ Twistin' USA
          $ Chubby's Greatest Hits CD (37 Songs)
... Click Here for full Twist Song Title List

Night Clubs

Publications

Stage

Peppermint Lounge New Musical Express Newspaper (3/15/1963) 1994 - Grease
Whiskey-A-Go-Go The Twist (1962 Jim Dawson)      
  Twist Magazine 1962      

Films / Video

Television

Awards / Titles

Best of Bandstand [1986] A&E Biography: Patti LaBelle Grammy Award for the "Best Rock Performance ("Let's Twist Again")    
Calendar Girl [1993] Am. Bandstand's 25th Anniversary [1977]
Don't Knock The Rock [1962] American Bandstand #1 Top 100 Songs of the Sixties
It's Trad Dad [1962] Disney's Summer Vacation Party [1986] #1 Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era  
Let the Good Times Roll [1973] Ed Sullivan Show, the #1 Top 100 Songs by Male Solo Artist
$ Purple People Eater [1989] Good Time Rock 'n' Roll [1985] #1 Top 100 Rock Era Remakes
Rote Lippen soll man küssen [1963] History of Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 2 #6 Top 100 Songs of 1960
Teenage Millionaire, the [1961] Hollywood Rocks the Movies: 1955-70 #56 spot in all time record sales (over 250m worldwide.)
$ Twist [1992 | DVD] Toast of the Town (10/1961)
Twist Around The Clock [1962]  Toast of the Town (3/1963)  
Twister Top of the Pops (4/1962)  
Twistin'    

NOTE: Link: Chubby Checker Website