Über Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans in 1941, is known now and forever for his cover of Hank Ballard's "The Twist" and the attendant dance craze that erupted when the single went to No. 1 in 1960. The song charted again in 1962 and periodically through the years whenever Checker recorded a variation on the theme or the song was simply re-released. Checker recorded a dance mix of the song in the '80s as well as a country version in the early '90s, and the Fat Boys had a hit with it in 1988. Checker got his start singing in a street-corner vocal group. He was also adept at impressions of popular singers and could play piano. Eventually, his friends secured him a recording session with Dick Clark, who immediately recognized Checker's abilities as a singer and entertainer and pointed him toward Kal Mann's Cameo-Parkway Records label. Checker's first single, "The Class," a four-alarm fire of a novelty song (Checker impersonates Fats Domino, Elvis, the Chipmunks and the Coasters), did manage to crack the Top 40, but it was his next single, "The Twist," that ensured enduring fame for him and his ever-mellow, high-register voice.