Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, was raised in the projects of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his parents and two brothers.
By the age eight Evans formed a street corner harmony group and learned to play the piano and entertain his classmates by performing impressions of popular entertainers of the day, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino.
His boss at a local grocery store gave Evans the nickname "Chubby." The store owner of Fresh Farm Poultry, Henry Colt, was so impressed by Ernest's performances for the customers that he, with his colleague and friend Karl Mann, who worked as a song-writer for Cameo-Parkway Records, arranged for him to do a private recording for Dick Clark at American Bandstand. At the recording session Evans got his stage name from Clark's wife, who asked Evans what his name was. "My friends call me Chubby," he replied. Since he had just performed a Fats Domino impression, she smiled and said, "As in Checker?" That little play on words stuck, and from then on, Evans used the name "Chubby Checker."
Checker introduced his version of "The Twist" in July 1960 on The Clay Cole Show, a local New York City television program broadcast live from Palisades Amusement Park. "The Twist" went on to become the only single to top the Billboard Hot 100 twice.
Chubby then had a string of dance-related recording including "The Hucklebuck," "The Fly," "Dance the Mess Around," and "Pony Time," which became his second #1 single. Checker's follow-up "twist" single, "Let's Twist Again," won the 1961 Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Solo Vocal Performance. A 1962 duet with Dee Dee Sharp, "Slow Twistin'" reached #3 on the national charts. "Limbo Rock" reached #2 in the fall of 1962, becoming Checker's last Top Ten hit.
Checker is the only recording artist to place five albums in the Top 12 all at once. In 2008 Chubby Checker's "The Twist" was named the biggest chart hit of all time by Billboard magazine.
For more about Chubby, visit his website at -