Even if you haven’t heard of Chubby Checker, you’ve definitely heard his music. The 74-year-old singer of “The Twist” has had one of the most prolific careers of anyone in his time. However, despite his continued presence in the spotlight, there are still some things that many people do not know about him. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Chubby Checker. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: He Is a Talented Impersonator. From a very young age, Checker would entertain his classmates in school by impersonating famous people. He could do impressive impersonations of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Fats Domino.
Number Fourteen: He Grew Up in South Philadelphia. Checker’s birth name was Ernest Evans, and he was born in South Carolina. However, he was raised in the projects of South Philadelphia. He had two brothers, and his parents’ names were Raymond Evans and Eartle Evans.
Number Thirteen: He Got His Nickname of “Chubby” While at Work. Checker was working in Philadelphia’s Italian Market when his boss, Tony A., gave him the nickname “Chubby.” The nickname stuck, and it hasn’t left since then.
Number Twelve: He Earned the Rest of His Nickname From Dick Clark’s Wife. Checker got the name of “Checker” when he was doing an impression of Fats Domino in front of Dick Clark’s wife. She cleverly suggested “Checker” to follow “Chubby” since “Chubby” is similar to the name Fats, and “Checker” is similar to Domino (the game).
Number Eleven: He Covered “The Twist” When He Was 18 Years Old. Checker’s most famous hit was made when he was just 18 years old. He first introduced his rendition of the song in New Jersey at the Rainbow Club.
Number Ten: “The Twist” Is the Only Single to Top the Billboard Charts Twice. The song hit number one twice on the Billboard Hot 100. It hit the number one spot in 1960 and 1962.
Number Nine: He Claimed That “The Twist” Ruined His Career. Checker has said that he was going to become a nightclub performer, and when “The Twist” exploded in popularity, Checker thought that people would see him as purely a gimmicky dance artist. He said that “The Twist” discredited the idea that he had talent, although his later releases would prove those doubters wrong.