What's not to like about "The Twist," as a song or as a dance? Simple rhythms. Easy to do. Why, any gathering worth its salt that has a band or DJ will play some kind of twist-music because everybody - from toddlers to grannies - can dance to it. You just stand there and, um, twist. But Chubby wasn't the only one to make a mint with twist songs. That twist bandwagon was pretty big.
Though Chubby Checker's "The Twist" has been declared the most popular of the No. 1 Billboard hit singles over the years, it doesn't make the top spot on my Top Ten Twist List. OK, I really don't have a Top Ten Twist List, but I do have a Top Eight:
- "Twist and Shout" - The Isley Brothers and/or The Beatles. I'm fine with either. So much so that I've told Kate I want it played at my funeral. :-) Though I suspect the Episcopal Church won't let me use it for the actual funeral. :-(
- "Dear Lady Twist" - Gary U.S. Bonds. Do the Twist and you'll never grow old. Ah, if only that were true, Gary.
- "Peppermint Twist" - Joey Dee & the Starliters. Meet me baby down on 45th street. Bop-shoo-ah-bop-bop-bop-bop-shoo-ah.
- "Twistin' the Night Away" - Sam Cooke, who's somewhere up-a New York way. Where the people are so gay. Well, yeah, there's that.
- "Let's Twist Again" - Chubby Checker. Do you remember when things were really hummin'?
- "The Twist" - Chubby Checker - see it only makes it to #6 on my list. Fun song, though.
- "Slow Twistin'" - Cubby Checker & Dee Dee Sharpe, 'cause there's no no twistin' like-a slow slow twistin' with you.
- "Soul Twist" - King Curtis. A great, great instrumental - the sax, wow!
YouTube has some great videos of most of these old twist songs. And I'm thinkin' that if I spent 20 minutes a night doing the Twist, I'd whittle my waist down in no time.
Who knows? Maybe Gary US Bonds was right: Do the Twist and you'll never grow old! (Extra credit points if you can name the three guys in the first photo.)