7 Things to Know About Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker
photo from Chubby Checker Facebook

Rock n’ Roll legend Chubby Checker will perform two shows at the Franklin Theatre on Saturday, September 4, 2021.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, there are a few remaining here. 

Here are 7 things you may not know about Chubby Checker:

1The Name “Chubby” Came From a Job

Chubby Checker was born in South Carolina, his birth name was Ernest Evans. He was the son of a tobacco farmer whose family later moved to Philadelphia where he worked at the produce store. It was there he received the nickname “Chubby.”

2“The Twist” was Originally Recorded by Hank Ballard

Hank Ballard first recorded “The Twist” back in 1958 on the B-side of his record. It was in 1960, Chubby Checker then covered the song taking it to number one on the charts.

3The Song Hit Number One Twice

“The Twist” made Billboard Hot 100 history when it hit number one once in 1960 but again in 1962 and then it set a record for the most weeks, thirty-nine, to be on the Hot 100 which it held until 1988 when UB40’s Red, Red, Wine lasted 40 weeks.

4Chubby Checker Created a Dance Movement

At a performance on American Bandstand in 1960, it was there Chubby Checker created new dance moves with his twist. A dance where teenagers danced apart instead of together. He became known as the “King of the Twist” and what followed was the dance revolution that followed with moves like The Pony, the Mashed Potato, The Fly, and The Hucklebuck.

5Checker Recorded Songs with a Twist

In addition to “The Twist,” he continued with that theme recording “Let’s Twist Again,” “Twistin’ U.S.A.,” and “Twist it Up” none of them made it to number one.

6He was Featured in an Oreo Commerical

Checker was featured in the 90s in a Nabisco commercial for Oreos where he told the alleged birth of the twist. It was one of the most successful campaigns for Oreo. Watch the video here. 

7Checker Performed at Fundraising Gala in Franklin

In addition to making a stop at the Franklin Theatre, Chubby Checker was the entertainment at the Biological Therapy Institute Gala created by Dr. Robert Oldham in Franklin years ago. Mindy Tate of Franklin Tomorrow was present and shared with us Chubby Checker danced with several attendees that memorable night.