Fun fact. Chubby Checker’s real name was Ernest Evans. No relation, so far as I know. He was black and born in Philadelphia. I am white, and was born in Melbourne (Australia, not Florida). Mind you, I am infamous for loving dreadful puns, and “Chubby Checker” was a dreadful pun on the name of another early rocker, Fats Domino. And I have been called “chubby” on the odd occasion …
Moving on. Chubby Checker was no one hit wonder: he had lots of hits, including a million-seller or two, over a period of about three years in the early 1960s. But he did extract maximum leverage from one key idea. His first big hit was “The Twist”. This was followed by the even bigger hit “Let’s Twist Again”. Then came a soulful, slower number. “Slow Twistin’”.
A certain theme emerging?
But nothing wrong with that. Checker’s bubbly, exuberant R&B dance tracks – all them twisters and also “The Limbo Rock” – are wonderful, life-enhancing popular music. They are still played, still popular. Consequently, you won’t hear them on Planet Vinyl. We are into Found Sound, not the stuff we already know. So, tune into this, the B-side of “The Twist”. It is a double entendre song about a young woman who rides a Vespa and has, well, attributes.
A subtle feminist critique of patriarchal exploitation? Not so much. But just go with it: hop aboard the motor scooter and squeeze that horn.
- Artist: Chubby Checker
- Single Title: The Twist
- Track: Side B “Toot”
- Format: 7”, 45 rpm
- Label: His Master’s Voice, EA-4399
- Manufactured in: Australia
- Year: 1960
Many of the records featured on this blog, and hundreds of others, are for sale via Discogs
2 replies on “Cousin Ernest does the Twist”
Chubby Checker’s lyrics harken back to a more rural America, “go to the left when I say gee, go to the right when I say haw, I said gee.… I said haw…” plow oxen commands!
That’s fascinating, I had no idea. Not having ever driven an ox! Amazing how much language preserves / echoes old ways of life.
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