1 Aug: Let’s Do The Twist

Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”, the most popular single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, was released on 1st August, 1960.

It was just a cover version of a B-side which had already been released by its writer, Hank Ballard – but after it appeared on The Dick Clark Show, the world slowly became obsessed with the catchy tune and simple lyrics, and the suggestive dance that inspired it.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly tell the bizarre story of how Checker was selected to perform the version that sold millions of copies; revisit other 60’s dance crazes the turkey trot, bunny hug, and the grizzly bear; and explain how the song reached No.1 again two years later, thanks to a completely different audience getting hold of the trend… 

Further Reading:

• ‘The Twist: A Worldwide Dance Craze in the 1960s’ (ThoughtCo, 2019): https://www.thoughtco.com/the-twist-dance-craze-1779369

• ‘‘The Twist’ top song of Billboard Hot 100 era’ (NBC Today, 2008): https://www.today.com/popculture/twist-top-song-billboard-hot-100-era-1C9421254

• ‘Chubby Checker performs ‘The Twist’ & ‘Let’s Twist Again’ on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’’ (CBS, 1961):