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Ernest Evans was born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, but grew up in South Philadelphia, where he lived with his parents and two brothers. When he was a small boy, his mother took him to see Sugar Child Robinson, a child piano prodigy and also the famous country singer Ernest Tubb. Young Evans was so impressed, that he vowed to someday enter show business and took his first step toward that goal by forming a street corner harmony group when he was only 11 years old.
By the time he entered high school, Ernest had learned to play the piano a little at Settlement Music School and could do a number of vocal impressions. He also went to South Philadelphia High School with his friend Fabian Forte, who would have show business success of his own. He entertained classmates whenever he could. After school, Chubby would sing and crack jokes at his various jobs including Fresh Farm Poultry on 9th Street and at the Produce Market. It was Ernest’s boss at the Produce Market, Tony A., who gave Ernest the nickname “Chubby”.
The storeowner of Fresh Farm Poultry, Henry Colt, was so impressed, he began showing off his employee to his customers through a loud speaker. Henry and his friend Kal-Mann arranged for young Chubby to do a private recording for Dick Clark. A Yuletide novelty tune called, “Jingle Bells” on which Chubby did several impressions of top recording stars, was cut. Dick Clark sent it out as a Christmas greeting to all of his friends and associates in the music business. Cameo-Parkway liked it so much that they wrote a song called “The Class” and it became Chubby’s first hit in early 1959.
In June of 1959, Chubby recorded “The Twist”. Bernie Lowe, president of Cameo Parkway records was not initially impressed with Chubby’s recording and felt it may be a “B” side at best. However, Chubby felt “The Twist” was something special and worked hard promoting the record by undertaking non-stop rounds of TV dates, interviews and live performances. Fourteen months later, in the summer of 1960, “The Twist” was a hit.
“The Twist” was not only the #1 song but it introduced the concept of “dancing apart to the beat”. Over the next few years, endless songs incorporating “The Twist” into its name sprang up such as “Peppermint Twist”, “Twist and Shout” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. In addition, each new song brought a new dance involving “dancing apart to the beat” such as “The Jerk”, “The Hully Gully”, “The Boogaloo” and “The Shake”. At the forefront was Chubby with “The Fly”, “The Pony” and “The Hucklebuck”.
The next few years were prolific for Chubby as hit followed hit. In 1961, Chubby recorded “Pony Time” written by Don Covay and John Berry. It went to #1 and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. In between recording and touring, Chubby took time to add feature films to his portfolio with the releases of “Don’t Knock The Twist” and “Twist Around The Clock”.
In the fall of 1961, record industry history was made when Checker’s original hit record, “The Twist”, re-entered the charts and by January of 1962, it was back in the #1 position. No other record before or since has accomplished that feat. Combining its 1960 run with its 1961/62 return, “The Twist” spent an amazing nine month total on the U. S. best seller charts.
Chubby Checker merchandise was everywhere, and included T-shirts, shoes, ties, dolls, raincoats, and chewing gum. His success continued for years with the release of one dance record after another, with “The Fly” and “Let’s Twist Again”, for which he won a Grammy for the “Best Rock Performance”. More hit records followed. “Slow Twistin’”, Dancin’ Party”, “Popeye the Hitchhiker” and “The Limbo Rock” all came along in 1962.
1963 saw Checker return to the hit parade with “Birdland” and “Twist It Up”, after which he followed with “Loddy Lo” and a series of other novelty type tunes. Eventually, teens incorporated these movements to all songs that had a beat and called these movements “The Boogie”, a permanent fixture in Rock and Roll and popular Music 24/7. While hits kept coming, the highlight of 1964 was Chubby’s marriage to Catharina Lodders, Miss World 1962.
In 2000, Chubby branched out into the snack food business commemorating 40 years of “The Twist” with Chocolate Checker Bars, Beef Jerky, Hot Dogs, and Popcorn, all to be washed down with Girl of the World Water (dedicated to his wife).
Today, Chubby continues 40 years of live performances while releasing new studio music. His Maxi-Single “Limbo Rock Re-Mixes” and CD “The Original Master of the Dance Hall Beat” by Chubby C & OD, featuring Inner Circle, were both on the Billboard Charts attracting a new generation of Chubby Checker fans. His current single called “Knock Down The Walls”, released in March of 2007, is currently climbing the charts.
Chubby Checker – the only artist to have 5 albums in the Top 12 all at once.
Chubby Checker First Platinum – “Let’s Twist Again”.
Checker – the only artist to have a song to be #1 twice – “The Twist”.
Chubby Checker – the only artist to have 9 Double-Sided Hits.
Checker – changed the way we dance to the beat 24/7 since 1959
A UCLA writer's program student, she attended numerous memoir classes during the years spent writing "Vinyl Highway." She also attended the "Maui Writers Retreat 2003."
Dee Dee has three adult children and lives with her husband in Pacific Palisades, California.
THE TOKENS continue to distinguish themselves with the second-longest chart span in the history of Rock & Roll. More than 30 years
after the debut of their first big hit, "TONIGHT I FELL IN LOVE", they re-emerged on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in August,
1994, following the re-release of their chart-topping single, "THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT." Making the statistic even more impressive,
the South African folk song "Wimoweh," which inspired THE TOKENS’ song that went to #1 worldwide, first charted 42 years earlier.
No other song title can claim that longevity.
Young men singing Doo Wop in high school bathrooms and on street corners across New York City was hardly extraordinary in the late 50s and early 60s. What is extraordinary, though, is the incredible feat that one of those groups from Brooklyn has accomplished.
First breaking onto the pop charts in 1961, THE TOKENS got back on the charts in the 1990s and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame in 2004
Today, the DIXIE CUPS are Barbara Ann Hawkins, Rosa Lee Hawkins and Athelgra Neville Gabriel. They perform regularly around the world,
performing their own hits along with other crowd-pleasing favorites from the eras of 60's girl groups.
Before she was 16 years old Kathy Young had what millions work their life for - she was a star. At age 14 Kathy Young caught the eye of the producer at Wink Martindale T.V. show an within weeks she recorded what quickly became a number one HIT and a standard rock & roll "A THOUSAND STARS" and became nicknamed " THE CINDERELLA OF SHOW BUSINESS". For five years she traveled the U.S., Hawaii and Canada with Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, The Shirrels, Bo Diddly, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles and Neil Sedaka just to name a few and appeared on American Bandstand four times where she received her gold record for"A THOUSAND STARS".
She followed "A THOUSAND STARS" with an LP "The Sounds of Kathy Young and followed up singles " Happy Birthday Blues", and Magic Is The Night". She also recorded a series of hit songs with Chris Montez as "Chris & Kathy".
Danny & The Juniors, individually Frank Maffei, Danny Rapp, Joe Terranova and Dave White, began singing together in the early 1950's
at ages 13 and 14 in Philadelphia where they were fans of the local rhythm and blues radio stations. It was there they heard the first
stirrings of a new music soon to become known as Rock 'n Roll. The Juvenaires, as they were called then, quickly decided to become
part of the new movement and began to perform the new songs as well as their own original material at school dances, local clubs and
At that time, record companies were engaged in a frenzied search for young people who could perform the new music. It wasn't very
long before they discovered the youths, re-named them Danny & The Juniors and recorded them singing one of their own original songs
called At The Hop.
The song quickly became a monumental hit on five continents reaching #1 on the pop, country and rhythm and blues charts. It stands
today as the #23 all-time biggest record according to The Billboard Magazine List Of #1 Hits. The Group immediately followed with
another hit, Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay, which became an anthem of the era, plus dance classics Twistin' USA and Pony Express.
These were the first of a string of eleven charted recordings. Their latest albums are the 1992 MCA' release Rockin' With Danny And
The Juniors and the 1997 Collectibles release Danny And The Juniors - Classic Golden Greats.
Early in 1958 Dick Clark presented Danny And The Juniors with a gold record for At The Hop on American Bandstand, the first of many
awards and accolades they would receive over their career, including Best New Group of 1957 and the prestigious Philadelphia Music
Alliance Achievement Award more recently.
With the success of At The Hop, Danny And The Juniors began touring with the other early legends and founders of American Rock In
Roll such as: Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Platters in the famous Alan Freed Big Beat Show, as well
as appearing at many of the nations top nightclubs, arenas and fairs. To this day they have traveled millions of miles and entertained
millions of people in all fifty states, Canada, Europe, South America and Asia.
Danny And The Juniors have made almost fifty American Bandstand appearances and have been on numerous television shows -- from the
old Patti Page Big Record Show to Nashville Now more recently. They've also been featured in three motion pictures and their songs
have been in many more. Danny And The Juniors have been covered in many important national publications including Life, Billboard,
Cashbox and Teen. The latest of these is a recent USA Today article that points out the broad appeal of Danny And The Juniors and
their music across many demographic categories.
Now, in their fifth decade as performers, the group still appears at a multitude of venues including conventions, theatres, clubs, casinos, fairs and festivals. Their wholesome, fun-loving stage show is embellished with comedy, impressions, bright costumes and audience participation -- while still preserving the rich history -- and is regarded as one of the best in the business.
Copyright © 2009 Chuck Stevens Syndication
In 1965 at age 19 kathy Young took a major step in a new direction - she married John Maus of the Walker Brothers, who was occasionally her guitar player. They met while they were both performing at "Pandoras Box" in Hollywood. Soon after their marriage they moved to England where the Wlaker Brothers found success sharing the top spot on the charts with the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
In 1969 she returned to the U. S.. She remarried in 1971 and for the next 20 years reaised a family and helped manage their citrus ranch in Central California.
In 1994 she returned to LA. where she now works for major international company. She also returned to her original passion, music.
Since her return Kathy Young has performed on numerous rock shows at some of the countries premier venues including the "Greek Theatre" in LA. and the "Meadowlands" arena in New Jersey.
As she did in 1960, Kathy Young will "capture you in her charms" for she remains one of the brigtest stars of her generation.
The original DIXIE CUPS were sisters Barbara Ann Hawkins, Rosa Lee Hawkins, and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson, all born in New Orleans.
Originally known as "Little Miss and the Muffets", the three girls were discovered at a talent contest by New Orleans record producer/singer
Joe Jones. Best known for his 1960 top ten hit "You Talk Too Much", Jones brought the girls to New York where in 1964 they changed
their name and recorded the song that would become their signature hit "Chapel of Love." The song, by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich
and Phil Spector, was released in 1964 on the Red Bird Record label, upon which it became a huge international hit, a million seller,
and a solid number one record in the United States. (It actually knocked the Beatles off the chart for the first time since the Fab
Four's debut in America.) THE DIXIE CUPS recorded two more top forty hits in 1964, "People Say" and "You Should Have Seen The Way
He Looked At Me". When there was a pause in one of their recording sessions, the girls began a chanting song that they had learned
in New Orleans called "Iko Iko." The call-and-respond chant caught their producer's ear and with some percussion in the background
they recorded it, and in the spring of 1965 it became their fourth top forty record, solidifying their status as one of the pioneering
girl groups of the 1960's.
Dee Dee Phelps spent the sixties as half of recording duo, Dick and Dee Dee. Her memory and flair for storytelling qualifies Dee Dee
as the only one who could "tell this story."
Some of Dee Dee's exploits are chronicled in other books, "Rock and Roll and Remember," by Dick Clark and "Liberty Records," by Michael "Doc Rock" Kelly.