Chubby Checker

by Candace RichComment — Updated August 3, 2023

Chubby Checker (real name: Ernest Evans) was born in S. Carolina but raised in South Philly where he imitated the styles of his favorite recording artists like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino. His antics and remarkable vocals soon got him noticed by a song writer who in turn arranged a private recording session for American Bandstand host Dick Clark. In fact it was Clark’s wife who gave Ernest his stage name “Checker”. Chubby had been a nickname given to him because of his stocky build. Chubby Checker His first recording for Clark was a spoof which allowed him to do his impressions of some popular artists like the Chipmunks, Fats Domino, Frankie Avalon and Elvis. It was titled “The Class and is credited as Checker’s first release.

1960s Music - Chubby CheckerIn an effort to get some exposure Checker’s next performance was on a local New York TV show called “The Clay Cole Show” where he did a cover of a Hank Ballard, R&B tune called “The Twist”. It was an instant success primarily because of Checker’s version of the corresponding dance moves. After giving the song and dance even more exposure on American Bandstand the record shot up to #1 where it remained for 18 weeks. The following year it hit #1 again and stayed there for 21 weeks that time. Checker has always felt that the immense popularity of that song labeled him as a ‘dance song performer’ and forced him to do subsequent ‘dance’ tunes in order to stay popular. Although this craze and his popularity from it carried him throughout his career he would have preferred a different song writing path.

Below is a Partial List of Hit Songs:

“The Class” (#38)
“The Twist” (#1)
“The Hucklebuck” (#14)
“Pony Time” (#1)
“Dance the Mess Around” (#24)
“Twistin’ U.S.A.” (#68)
“Let’s Twist Again” (#8)
“The Fly” (#7)
“The Twist” (recharted at #1 in January 1962)
“Jingle Bell Rock” (with Bobby Rydell) (#21)
“Slow Twistin'” (with Dee Dee Sharp) (#3)
“Dancin’ Party” (#12)
“Limbo Rock” (#2)
“Popeye The Hitchhiker” (#10)
“Twenty Miles” (#15)
“Let’s Limbo Some More” (#20)
“Birdland” (#12)
“Twist It Up” (#25)
“Loddy Lo” (#12)
“Hooka Tooka” (#17)
“Hey, Bobba Needle” (#23)
“Lazy Elsie Molly” (#40)
“Let’s Do the Freddie” (#40)
“The Twist (Yo, Twist!)” (with the Fat Boys) (#16)
 1960 Hits

1961 Hits

1962 Hits

1963 Hits

1964 Hits

 1965 Hits

1966 Hits

1967 Hits

1968 Hits

1969 Hits

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