TWIST, THE

Latest update on 21/10/2016

Artist: Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Author: Hank Ballard
Label: King
Year: 1958

B-side (sic) of love ballad Teardrops On Your Letter, written by Henry Glover, vice president of King, which explains a lot. Hank modelled it on his own Is Your Love For Real ('57) and cut The Twist twice: first for Vee-Jay (unreleased at the time) and shortly after for King. Dick Clark (see footnote) had a deal with King to withhold that second version, so that Chubby Checker's cover could break. Chubby being one of Clark's stall mates. In exchange Dick would make a hit out of Hank's Finger Poppin' Time. Payola ruled in those days. Meanwhile Hank Ballard renewed the rights on his song, securing him what rests of all future gains.

Covers:

1959:

Buddy Miller & The Rockin' Ramblers [as Las Vegas Twist (Teen Twist), crediting Nelson/Miller]

1960:

Chubby Checker [n°1 US; again in '62]

1961:

Chaussettes Noires [as Le Twist]

1962:

Dion

1988:

Fat Boys [with Chubby Checker]

1994:

Championettes [in Twist medley]

1997:

Bobby Radcliff

Hank Ballard wrote it after seeing Florida teenagers dancing. His Midnighters adopted this dance routine. His own version was just an R&B hit. Dick Clark of American Bandstand fame was secretly impressed and wanted his own Twist, not one by Hank, a man he hated for cutting dirty songs like Work With Me Annie (see there). Clark contacted Ernest Evans, a chicken factory worker from Philadelphia, to change his name into Checker (en vogue since Fats Domino) and to cut a Twist of his own. Result: the twist became the only dance craze for everybody, parents and younsters alike. A phenomenon not to be repeated until the Lambada almost 30 years later. (see also Whatcha Gonna Do)

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

No Facebook No Twitter