Chubby Checker's forth LP, ' Your Twist Party', released in 1962
hit top ten on both the R&B and Pop Album charts. Variety trade
paper reporter, Joe Cohen, wrote liner notes for the LP, front
and back cover. The dance craze became so popular with
the older crowds, jazz great Count Basie got into the act with his
version of the 'Basie Twist' on Roulette records. Frank Sinatra,
who never really cared for rock and roll, couldn't ignore the hype
by recording a version of, 'Everybody's Twistin'.
The Twist had now become a worldwide dance. Everyone from
President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie, to kings and queens
all over the continent! Advertising agencies began to use the
Twist to sell products such as, Vaseline hair tonic, BVD underwear
for doing the Twist. Twist rings, twist hats, and twist cigars. Author
Joan Ellis would have a best selling novel entitled, ' Sex With A
Twist'. Weight Watchers created a wooden spinning board for
overweight people to stand on to do the Twist, to lose weight!
Television shows such as ' The Dick Van Dyke Show', ' Leave It
To Beaver', The Patty Duke Show' and The Flintstones, with
Fred Flintstone's character 'Rock Roll' introduces a new dance
craze called, ' the twitch'. The Twist didn't come with controversy.
Articles in newspapers and magazines, called the Twist,
a vulgar dance because of the gyration of the hips. Who cared?
Everyone was having a great time and one serious party!
Around late1963, the Twist faded out to other dance crazes such as
the Monkey, the Jerk, the Louie Louie, the Swim, the Fish, the Millie,
the Hitch-Hike (courtesy of Marvin Gaye's sister), and later, the
Boogaloo and the Shing-a-ling. Examining all of these dance crazes,
The Twist started a revolutionary in music that this type of dancing
was acceptable for people of all ages.
It was a dance that everyone participated in, where you didn't have
to be the world's greatest dancer. Just move and groove and shake
Chubby Checker was in the news a few years ago, stating that he
deserves a statue of himself in his hometown of Philadelphia
because he created a worldwide dance, The Twist. In my
opinion, he and Hank Ballard both deserve statues for their
legacy in music history. They are responsible for the concept in
dance that we call, ' apart dancing'.
(End of Part 4)
Materials should not be used or altered without expressed
permission of the author,
(Chancellor of Soul)