Saturday, January 26, 2013

The story of Chubby Checker's "The twist"

I don't remember this song but I love song stories.  Chubby Checker's "The Twist" has an amazing story:

"The song that would make Checker rich and famous—"The Twist"—had been a non-hit in 1958 for its writer, Hank Ballard, best known for 1954's "Work With Me Annie," which was then considered filthy enough to warrant an FCC ban. Believing "The Twist" to be a potential smash, but unwilling to have the controversial Ballard on his American Bandstand, Dick Clark picked the wholesome Chubby Checker to record a cover. With the help of Clark's tireless on-air promotion, "The Twist" turned Chubby Checker into an overnight success when it shot to the top of the Billboard pop chart in September 1960.
As all hit records do, "The Twist" then faded away. The dance craze it popularized did, too, as America's teenagers moved on to things like the Mashed Potato and the Pony. Chubby Checker had a second #1 hit just five months after "The Twist" with "Pony Time," and then something remarkable happened. A full year after the initial success of "The Twist," a gossip item in the New York papers placed actress Merle Oberon and the elderly exile Prince Serge Obolensky of Russia at the Peppermint Lounge, Twisting the night away. Suddenly a fad was reborn—this time among American adults, who took to the Twist with an alacrity that must have provoked uncountable cringes among their teenaged children.  Soon enough, "The Twist" began a remarkable second run up the charts, reclaiming the #1 spot on January 13 and finally relinquishing it on this day in 1962. It was the first and only time a pop single has fallen completely out of Billboard's "Hot 100" only to re-attain the #1 spot in a completely separate release."

Here is the song:


"Come on baby let's do the twist Come on baby let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist

My daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around
Yeah daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around
We're gonna twisty twisty twisty
'Til we turn the house down Come on and twist yeah baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this Come on little miss and do the twist

Yeah you should see my little Sis You should see my my little Sis
She really knows how to rock She knows how to twist
Come on and twist yeah baby twist Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist
Yeah rock on now Yeah twist on now Twist."

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