Thursday, August 5, 2010

25 great twist songs on the 50th anniversary of the Twist

It's been a while since we had a good dance craze, the Lambada and Macarena all but distant, blurry, creepy memories.

So it's a fine time to look back on the biggest and best dance craze ever - the Twist! - on the 50th anniversary of Chubby Checker's song that swept the world, released on July 9, 1960.

Checker's 1960 cover version of the Twist - originally a Hank Ballard and the Midnighters song - hit it big after he performed it on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. To this day, it's the only single to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts during two separate runs, in 1960 and again in 1962.

As well, the Twist is listed in Billboard's "All-Time Hot 100 Top Songs" and Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time," and Checker performed it as recently as this month at a free concert at Philadelphia's City Hall.

You can still see the dance craze in action at Winnipeg socials - a can't-go-wrong dance for those who can't dance. Like me!

Even better, it spawned hundreds of other twist songs over the years, including this list of 25 great twist songs (links open in YouTube):

1. The Twist, Chubby Checker (above)/Hank Ballard and the Midnighters

2. Twist and Shout, the Isley Brothers/Salt-N-Pepa/the Beatles

3. Let's Twist Again, Chubby Checker

4. Twistin' the Night Away, Sam Cooke

5. Dear Lady Twist, Gary U.S. Bonds

6. Pepperment Twist, Part 1, Joey Dee and the Starlighters

7. Soul Twist, King Curtis

8. Twistin' Postman, the Marvelettes

9. Slow Twistin', Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp

10. The Twist (Yo Twist), Chubby Checker and the Fat Boys

11. Twistin' by the Pool, Dire Straits

12. Bristol Twistin' Annie, the Dovells

13. The Basie Twist, Count Basie

14. Tequila Twist, the Champs

15. Twistin' Matilda, Jimmy Soul

16. The Hully Gully Twist, Bill Doggett

17. Twistin' Bells, Santo and Johnny

18. Twistin' With Linda, the Isley Brothers

19. Twistin' USA, Danny and the Juniors

20. Percolator (Twist), Billy Joe and the Checkmates

21. Twist, Twist Senora, Gary U.S. Bonds

22. Hava Nagila Twist, Chubby Checker

23. Wilbury Twist, Traveling Wilburys

24. Anna Twist, Perez Prado

25. Twist-Her, Bill Black's Combo

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