Look who’s doin’ the Twist! Following a fad (1961 & 1962)


Categories: 1960s, Entertainment, Ephemera, Mementos & memorabilia, Notable people
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N.Y. becomes Twistin’ Town U.S.A. as dance fad grows

New York – This city has turned into a twistin’ town. The latest dance fad has become such an excitement factor that clubs, hotels and even dime-a-dance palaces are featuring the twist.

In line with the trend, The Roundtable, swank boite on the town’s East Side, is going twistin’ all the way. After Belle Barth’s engagement ends next week, the club is switching to an all-twist policy… Club has been running Sunday afternoon twist sessions for the past few weeks and claims they have been most successful.

Couple dancing the TwistAs as indication of the intensity of the twist publicity in New York, the venerable Honeymoon Lane, one of Broadway’s better known dime-a-dance halls, now has a sign on the outside of the entrance explaining that you can do the twist there every night. The group that plays the music is called the Twisters.

Revival Time Twist records appear to be doing rather well during the twist revival. Chubby Checker’s release, which was issued last week, jumped way up into the No. 55 slot on BMW’s “Hot 100” chart this week. And records by Joey Dee, the Royal-Tones and Danny Peppermint are getting sales in various parts of the country. There are few companies now who do not have twist albums on the market — many by society bands.

There are music veterans who think that the twist craze is merely a short-lived fad. Buddy Deane, for one, of station WJZ in Baltimore, claims that “the twist is about as up-to-date as the Charleston.” He claims the dance has all but faded from the Baltimore teen scene.

But last Wednesday in Dempsey’s restaurant in New York, where many music men gather, one lively promotion man was seen demonstrating the twist next to the crowded luncheon tables, and explaining how it was nothing more than the Lindy Hop of years ago.

The twist will also be featured in a movie now going into production called “It’s Trad Dad,” which will feature a flock of traditional jazz musicians and rock and roll acts, including Chubby Checker, U. S. Bonds, Del Shannon and the Dukes of Dixieland. as well as English artists Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball and Helen Shapiro. – Billboard, Nov 13, 1961


Look who’s doing The Twist!

Some of the artists on the bandwagon: Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Duane Eddy, polka star Lil Wally, The McGuire Sisters, Alvin & The Chipmunks, and, of course, Chubby Checker.

Click on any image in the gallery below to see larger versions of them all!

They’re twistin’ around the world

The Twist craze is taking on global aspect, They’re Twistin’ in Europe, too, these days, and Thom McAn Shoes is currently mapping out a merchandising tie-up with Chubby Checker on a Twister shoe which reportedly will be conducted on a world-wide basis.

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At the same time, three motion pictures with Twist themes are going into production shortly. They include Paramount’s “Hey Let’s Twist,” star-ring Joey Dee and the Starliters, Columbia’s “Twist Around the Clock” with Dion, and “It’s Trad, Dad, a British-American film which will mark the movie debut of Chubby Checker. Checker, who starts a European tour next month, will film the picture in London. It will also feature Gary (U. S.) Bonds, Del Shannon and the Dukes of Dixieland, along with British wax stars Helen Shapiro, Chris Barber, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk.

Meanwhile, Dee and his Starliters have taken a week’s leave of absence from the Peppermint Lounge here to go out on the road and plug their new Roulette “Twist” single and album. They are appearing on Dick Clark’s ABC-TV show, and with Buddy Deane, WJZ-TV, Baltimore, and will also visit Cleveland.

Checker has solved his personal appearance problems, with film segments which are being made available to TV stations across the country. Station WOR-TV here is scheduling a series of nine one-minute Twist lessons by Checker, plus special five-minute “Twist” film programs daily this week. The one-minute instruction spots were specially taped by Checker for WOR.

Clay Cole is also featuring Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” album and his three singles are getting strong action on the charts. So are other Twist disks. Bud Katzel, Roulette’s sales chief, reports that Joey Dee’s album “Doin’ the Twist at the Peppermint Lounge” is shaping as the biggest LP in the label’s history.

Meanwhile, there are 45 different recorded versions of the Twist on the market in France. Two English artists were No. 2 on BMW’s “Hits of the World” chart for France last week with “Let’s Twist Again.” They were Johnny Halliday and Richard Anthony. – Billboard, November 20, 1961


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