Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
September 26, 8:00 PM, Casino Regina Show Lounge
Chubby Checker was the unrivaled king of the rock & roll dance craze. Athough most of the dances his records promoted — the Pony, "the Fly," and the Hucklebuck, to cite just three — have long since faded into obscurity, his most famous hit, "The Twist," remains the yardstick against which all subsequent dance floor phenomena are measured. Born Ernest Evans on October 3, 1941, in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, he worked in a local poultry shop while in high school, and while on the job often entertained customers by singing and cracking jokes. His workplace antics helped win an audition with the local Cameo-Parkway label, who signed the fledgling singer in 1959. At the suggestion of no less than Dick Clark's wife, the portly youth was re-christened Chubby Checker, the name a sly reference to Fats Domino.
Checker's first single, "The Class," showcased his skills as an impressionist; while the record became a minor novelty hit, none of its immediate follow-ups were successful. In 1960, however, he recorded "The Twist," a cover of a 1958 Hank Ballard & the Midnighters B-side. Checker's rendition de-emphasized the original's overtly sexual overtones, focusing instead on the song's happy-go-lucky charms. The single rocketed to #1 during the autumn of 1960, remaining on the charts for four months. Some time after it dropped off, it slowly returned to prominence, and in late 1961 it hit #1 again, the only record ever to enjoy two stays at the top more than a year apart. After "The Twist" first made Checker a superstar, he returned to the top in 1961 with "Do the Pony". That same year, he also reached the Top Ten with "Let's Twist Again," which assured the dance's passage from novelty to institution.
Songs: “The Twist”, “The Fly”, “Let’s Twist”, “Let’s Twist Again”, “The Class”, and “Do The Pony”.
Tickets on sale February 18 for Players Club Members, February 20 for general public.
1880 Saskatchewan Drive
Local Number: 306-565-3000