Chubby Checker was originally a slaughterhouse worker named Ernest Evans but was re-named because of his resemblance to a young Fats Domino
He scored a minor hit with The Class, but his recording of The Twist – encouraged by American Bandstand host Dick Clark and originally recorded by Hank Ballard as a 1958 B-side – took off like a whirlwind after prime time TV exposure in July 1960.
It made US #1 on 19 September 1960, and then again on 13 January 1962.
It also became the biggest dance craze since the Charleston, and the steps were so easy that anyone could do The Twist . . . and everybody did.
Teenagers around the world were suddenly dancing without touching, but they were still able to be fiercely provocative in their moves, swivelling their hips in a way that outraged a generation still recovering from Elvis Presley a few years earlier.
Checker spent the next few years achieving more hit records based on further dances such as The Hucklebuck, The Limbo and The Hitchhike.
None succeeded like the original, however, and after Let’s Twist Again rekindled the fire, a re-issue of The Twist returned to #1 at the end of 1961. By the end of 1965 Checker was running out of ideas.