A record breaker. His version of 'The Twist
' is the only single to have topped the US
chart on two seperate occasions, and he was the first Rock
artist to place four albums simultaneously in the US Top
Although he reached he US Top 40 with novelty debut 'The Class' (containing his impersonations of Elvis Presley and Fats Domino), Checker's next two singles achieved negligible sales. DJ Dick Clark, who had pushed his first hit, suggested Checker cover 'The Twist', and included his version on American Bandstand in preference to Hank Ballard's original. It first topped the US chart in September 1960 and astoundingly returned to the summit 15 mmonths later when adults discovered the dance. The Twist went on to becime the most popular dance of the Rock era, although it was his sequel- another Ballard-influenced track, 'Let's Twist Again'- which got the whole world twisting in 1962.
He later successfully extolled the virtues of such dances as the Hucklebuck, Pony, Mess Around, Fly, Limbo, Popeye, Birdland and the Freddie (often after other acts launched them). By 1988, Checker, who has never lacked for club work, re-charted internationally with an update of 'The Twist' in the company of Rappers The Fat Boys. Although he may not have been among the most original artists of his era, in the early 60s Checker was the world's No. 1 dance instructor.