Wednesday, August 26, 2009
In 1959 Hank Ballard & The Midnighters wrote and released the song, "The Twist." In 1960 Chubby Checker redid the song which then became #1 on the Billboard charts. It made it's debut on the Dick Clark Show and became a dance craze. The critics felt the dance was too provocative and was the first international dance of it's kind.
The Twist's original inspiration came from an African American plantation dance called, "wringin and twistin." It is traced back to the 1890's.
As the years went by, other recordings were made of the song. In 1961 Joey Dee and the Starlighters sang "The Peppermint Twist." I'm sure you remember the Peppermint Lounge. Then in 1962, Bo Diddley released his album, Bo Diddley's A Twistin. His songs were, "Bo's Twist" and "Mama Don't Allow No Twistin."
Bill Haley and The Comets put a twist on the Twist and released the recordings, "The Spanish Twist" and "Florida Twist."
The Twist is easy! Just pretend to drop a cigarette butt on the ground, put the ball of your foot over the imaginary cigarette and twist it to and fro like you are putting it out. Then at the same time, put an imaginary bath towel behind your back and pull it from side to side like you are drying your rear. Voila! You're doing the twist! It's so simple and you can dance alone with no partner contact. Now, I can just see you right now trying to do the twist. So come on baby, let's do the twist. Oh yeah, just like this!