Earnest Evans, a cheerful, fun-loving, energetic young man from the low rent projects of Philadelphia, changed his name to Chubby Checker and cut a record in 1960. It was a cover of Hank Ballard’s “The Twist,” and Chubby turned it into a national dance craze. “The Twist” was the only single to top Billboard‘s Top 100 twice, in two separate chart runs. Chubby became a star. His follow-up, “Let’s Twist Again,” won the 1961 Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Solo Vocal Performance. His next single, a similarly themed duet with Dee Dee Sharp called “Slow Twistin’ ” went to Number Three on the charts. Chubby is the only recording artist to place five albums in the Top 12 all at once.
Despite international notoriety, Chubby lamented…
“The Twist” really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and
“The Twist” just wiped it out. It got so out of proportion. No one ever believes I have talent.”
Chubby still tours and performs regularly.