Who knew then that within three years he would get an official name
change to Chubby Checker, sign a record deal and record a song that would
become a number one hit twice in two different years with the only song sung
by the same performer ever to gain that status, Jordan said. Chubby Checker
changed the way people would move forever. He gave rock 'n roll its first official
dance and Chubby unleashed a mania that is very rare in the music industry.
He literally invented dancing apart for the music of youth and allowed
people to be expressive on their own, yet not be self-conscious.
Everyone grabbed on, it spread nationally and then internationally.
Chubby Checker was a household name from American Bandstanders to
Europe, America, Down Under and in between.... literally everywhere, Jordan said. It was official, Chubby and his Twist were a hit and the world was stampeding to do
At the Peppermint Lounge in New York, celebrities nightly fought their
way to the dance floor eager to be seen as part of the new sensation, Chubby
Checker. He was the undisputed king who leapt to the forefront like a born
leader with the most inviting demeanor anyone had seen since.
The hits and the dances rolled on with over 20 albums and 40 singles,
Jordan said. Chubby Checker creating a body of work that will always stand
as a landmark of choreography.
From the Minuet and even before, popular dancing consisted of couples
holding each other, at least touching was involved. Chubby Checker changed
The Twist brought dancing couples apart and free to express themselves
from then on, Jordan said. It was an official national pastime with Twistmania
running rampant. This included Twist sweaters, skirts, jackets, hats, shows,
Barbie dolls, movies, food and paraphernalia of all kinds.
The 60s went on and the audiences endured while the world continued
to twist. Eventually, with the British Invasion, folk and psychedelics, the first
"Twistmania" came to an end.
When things started to slow down in the U.S., Chubby took his steps to
Europe where his popularity always bordered on the enormous, Jordan said.
His household name status was assured and his talent began to mature while
his commitment to music was to become a way of life.
Into and through the 70s, Chubby Checker and the Chubby Checker Band
mounted an ambitious performance touring schedule directed at the
permanent fans and, eventually, a curious generation of new music lovers who
appreciated the uncluttered, high performance ability that Checker had developed.
The spirit of The Twist remained strong and the Chubby Checker Band
grew into a major touring attraction with amazing energy, conviction and a
rare knack to bring an audience to a frenzy. Checker kept his ear to the
radio, gave his heart to the fans, his feet ever on the move and steadied his
shoulder to the rock 'n roll grindstone. Chubby decided he was in the performing
business. "Rock 'N Roll is what I do, said Chubby, so the concert touring continued
and continued, entertaining rapturous millions.
The 80s arrive and the touring schedule never let up as the band is always
on tour, but it is time to say something musically again, to express what Chubby
Checker had become and how he felt.
To make sure of all this experience and dedication is updated, the first
album in 16 years appears on MCA Records, "The Change Has Come." The critics
all agreed, Jordan said. They were asking if Chubby Checker is a new band.
The critics said - All strong. The music and the voice. Forget what you might
have expected. Nothing here to indicate Checker hasn't been in the thick of rock
music for the last two decades. More fire and fervor than most contemporary
outfits could ever come up with.
Was he being taken seriously? Well, maybe a little, but it had been
a long time and although the exposure and reviews were all positive, the
new recording career would still have to wait to hit its stride.
As his position as a sure bet for an outstanding performance became
solid, Chubby's band developed an identity. His new band The Wildcats were
called tight, steamy and powerful. This musical aggregation, Chubby Checker
& The Wildcats, continued to musically storm every venue and location they
were invited to.
Chubby's philosophy was, ... we go where we're wanted. But the
media could not get enough because Chubby is a surprising and refreshing
delight, Jordan said. Madison Avenue began to notice his value since
Chubby brought the attention of an entire generation with him.
Every network, including PBS and cable, has recently presented Chubby
Checker & The Wildcats in a music special. The power of the live
performance always stands out; however, the greatest success was yet to
be experienced, Jordan said. Chubby starred at the Super Bowl in 1988,
recording a very new version of "The Twist" with The Fat Boys that hit Top
20 in the U.S. and number one in Europe; appeared at Wembley Stadium in
London; did MTV's Video Music Awards Show; and added several more TV
appearances and commercials.
Over the years Chubby has become the darling of advertisers from
Nabisco, Hershey, Hyundai, Tropicana and even BVD. Nabisco's OREO
promotion of 1990-91 was their most successful in the company's history,
Jordan said. In addition, Chubby's songs, past and present, are now
finding their way onto movie soundtracks. He has even begun to appear
in a few films, including Penny Marshall's Calendar Girl.
When the 90s arrived and someone said Chubby Checker, what's
the first thing they thought of? Well, now you can add something new to
that thought. Chubby's got everybody dancing again, but this time it's
the Texas Twist. Country songs and dancing are nothing new for this
Philly Billy, Jordan said. A number of his biggest hits had country or
folk origins, and he swings through country music like he's been there
before -- he was.
Philadelphia to Nashville is much shorter these days, time-wise
and musically. Leave it to the man who originally got everybody dancing
to find the shortest distance between two points and the quickest way to
get people on the dance floor, Jordan said. Whether it's the Two Step,
the Tush Push or the Texas Twist, everyone danced again like you did last
Though it has been said that he is one of rock 'n roll's unsung
heroes, Chubby feels he is still too young to be a legend and looks to
the future for his biggest success.
Chubby Checker and The Wildcats are inexhaustible, experienced,
touring over 300 days a year and are re-evolving, Jordan said. As Chubby
said, My live stage performance is what I am. It is the beginning and the
end of Chubby Checker.
As Chubby Checker and The Wildcats proceed through the new
millennium, he continues to hear praise.
They say Chubby is a rare breed of live, Jordan said. "Chubby
Checker is a very exciting live performer who, with his Wildcats band, is
expanding, growing and consistently pleasing people of all ages."
Chubby Checker's Top 40 hits include The Class, The Twist, The
Hucklebuck, Pony Time, Dance The Mess Around, Let's Twist Again, The Fly,
The Twist (re-released), Jingle Bell Rock with Bobby Rydell, Slow Twistin'
with Dee Dee Sharp, Dancin' Party, Limbo Rock, Popeye The Hitchhiker,
Let's Limbo Some More, Twenty Miles, Birdland, Twist It Up, Loddy Lo, Hooka
Tooka, Hey Bobba Needle, Lazy Elsie Molly and Let's Do The Freddy.