In 2008, Billboard magazine named “The Twist” the biggest chart hit of all-time.
The man who made the song a hit is Chubby Checker, and he’s coming to St. Petersburg on Thursday to perform in concert at the Palladium.
Checker wasn’t the first to record “The Twist.” His version was a remake of an R&B hit by Hank Ballard, the song’s author. But Checker’s version was far more popular, and he’ll always be associated with the song and the dance craze it inspired.
Checker isn’t well known among people who weren’t alive at the time that “The Twist” hit the charts, but he was huge at the time. He’s still the only recording artist who has had five albums in the Top 12 at once, and the dance he popularized changed forever the way people dance to popular music.
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He’s always been a talented singer and performer, but the popularity of “The Twist” got him pegged as a purveyor of dance songs, and that’s what almost all of his subsequent hits were: “Pony Time,” “Let’s Twist Again,” “Slow Twistin’ ” “The Hucklebuck” and “Limbo Rock” among them.
Wikipedia lists more than 40 chart hits for Checker. He won a Grammy Award for “Let’s Twist Again,” and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Solo Vocal Performance for “Let’s Twist Again.”