Twist of Fate

One song ushered in a new era of '60s rock and roll — and you can thank Chubby Checker.

During a 1960 appearance on American Bandstand, Chubby Checker revolutionized pop culture in less than three minutes as he introduced "The Twist" to viewers. His signature song will lead a set list of hits tonight, when Checker plays the Rock Hall to promote the drop of his latest two-CD package, All the Best, which includes both new material and remixes of some of his hits.The son of a tobacco farmer, the 66-year-old Checker grew up in Philadelphia, where, in a neighborhood produce store, he did impressions of Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. By 1958, his first single, "The Class," reached No. 38 on the Billboard chart. After "The Twist" soared to No. 1 a couple of years later, Checker followed up the success with a string of tunes like "Pony Time," "Limbo Rock," and the 1961 Grammy winner "Let's Twist Again." Since then, he's sold more than 250 million records, which led America's oldest teenager, Dick Clark, to proclaim, "The three most important things that ever happened in the music industry are Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Chubby Checker." Let's twist again at 6:30 tonight at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1 Key Plaza. Admission is $13 to $22. Call 216-781-7625 or visit
Wed., July 23, 6:30 p.m., 2008