by Robert Bell
Although everybody knows the Jitterbug and the Charleston and the Mashed Potato and Macarena and the Stanky Leg, there's little doubt that the Twist was the ultimate dance craze, evidenced by the multiple chart-topping singles it spawned in the early '60s. Though the original "Twist" was written and first recorded by Hank Ballard, of Midnighters fame, it was Chubby Checker who took the song to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 not once, but twice. Checker had other big dance craze hits as well, including follow-ups "Let's Twist Again" and "Slow Twistin'" as well as "Pony Time," "The Hucklebuck," "The Fly" and "Dance the Mess Around." 2011 finds Checker playing the nostalgia circuit, with upcoming appearances at casinos around the country and a spot on the Malt Shop Memories Cruise alongside Little Anthony & the Imperials, Lou Christie, and that thing Mike Love insists on calling the Beach Boys.