A Brief History
Born in Philadelphia in 1941, Ernest Evans would later become Chubby Checker and make Rock
and Roll history. With the help of Dick Clark and a record deal with Cameo-Parkway, Chubby
Checker began his professional career. After recording four songs on Cameo-Parkway that barely
dented the top forty, a “twist” of fate had Chubby singing “The Twist” for American Bandstand as
a stand-in act for a no-show. “The Twist” hit the pop charts in the summer of 1960 and went to
Following the huge success of “The Twist,” Chubby Checker recorded several other top ten hits
including “Pony Time,” “Let’s Twist Again,” and “The Fly.”
“The Fly” was originally written and recorded for Carl and The Commanders. Dave White and I
went to play it for Cameo Parkway Records. Chubby Checkers’ “Twist”, was just coming down the
charts, and they were looking for something to follow it up with. They thought our record was great.
They wanted to use our track and put Chubby's voice on it. Of course, doing the follow up to “The
Twist” was really exciting. In the beginning of Chubby’s career, we were the first outside producers
to produce something with Chubby through Cameo Parkway.
Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my producing Chubby for two other record
companies – Buddah and 20th Century. The Buddah records had Daryl Hall, Tim Moore and Tom
Sellers, not only playing but singing background.
What Happened Next?
From 1959 to 1965, Chubby Checker put twenty-two hits in the top forty. In 1961, “The Twist”
reentered the charts and went to #1. The only other artist who has accomplished that is Bing
Crosby with “White Christmas.”
Chubby Checker is credited for popularizing the dance songs in the early 60’s with "The Pony,"
"The Twist" and "The Fly." He gave movement to a music that never had this movement before.
Dick Clark once said: “The three most important things that ever happened in the music industry
are Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Chubby Checker.”