BWW Feature: CHUBBY CHECKER at South Point Showroom
The 1950s might have been the beginning of rock 'n' roll but it was pioneers such as Chubby Checker who transformed the music and dance in the 1960s. While other icons such as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry passed away this year, Checker keeps the music alive while still touring. Embrace the movement and experience history when Checker performs in the South Point Showroom at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Nov. 24-26.
While most people identify Checker with the "The Twist," he actually recorded a cover of Hank Ballard's R&B version. Ballard wrote and recorded the song in 1958 but released it as what was then known as the B-side that didn't receive much radio play. In 1960, Checker debuted his own version on Dick Clark's television show.
Checker's version topped the charts and soon launched a dance craze. Other artists including Sam Cooke and the Isley Brothers followed with Twist songs. "The Twist" topped Billboard's list of the most popular singles on the Hot 100 from 1958 to 2013. In 2008, Checker's "The Twist" was named the biggest chart hit of all time by Billboard magazine.
"The Twist changed how people danced. They didn't touch each other anymore. They danced with each other but with their own movements," Chubby Checker explained to BroadwayWorld.com. "This actually allowed people to explore and express their sexuality with their clothes on and no judgment. This is still going on today. This is what the Twist brought to the dance floor." The Twist also allowed adults to dance to what was considered music for teenagers. Photos from the 1960s to today show every age group dancing to the Twist, which revolutionized the demographics of contemporary music.
As he also stated, the Twist remains popular today in terms of products. Recently on ABC's "Shark Tank," two entrepreneurs presented the Twist as a way to exercise. An investment was offered and that twisting product is now available in retail stores.
Along with the Twist, Checker also popularized the Limbo Rock and limbo dance as well as "Pony Time" and other hits. He is the only recording artist to have five albums in the Top 12 simultaneously. Ironically, it was the follow up to "The Twist," "Let's Twist Again," that won Checker his first Grammy Award for best contemporary song. He was honored in 2000 with a Hall of Fame Grammy Award.
As for performing in Las Vegas, Checker stated, "Las Vegas is a one-of-a-kind place. It is like Niagara Falls or other unique wonder. There is no other place like it. Las Vegas is an experience. When we come to town, we kill it with our show, burn it up and then go to the next place."
Chubby Checker will perform in the South Point Showroom at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Nov. 24-26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available by clicking here.