Chubby Checker

Twist with Chubby Checker [Bootleg]

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One of several unauthorized CDs of Checker's Cameo-Parkway output that have appeared to compensate for the absence of any official collections of same. It is too bad that the appropriate parties cannot get it together to do legit reissues that would, perhaps, direct the royalties to the singer himself. If you do need to hear some of his early material by hook or crook, however, this is good value, including no less than 30 songs from the early 1960s (though there are no liner notes, or even songwriting credits). That lack of liner notes makes it difficult to determine the exact chronological span, but it's certain that most of the cuts are from 1960 and 1961 -- the pre-"Limbo Rock" era, in other words. Besides the hits "The Twist," "The Hucklebuck," "Pony Time," "Dance the Mess Around," "Let's Twist Again," and "The Fly," you get a whole buncha twist- and dance craze-derived tunes like "Twistin' U.S.A.," "The Slop," "The Hully Gully," "The Mexican Hat Twist," "The Shimmy," "The Jet," "The Chicken," and others. Rounding out the disc are covers of early rock classics like "Blueberry Hill," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and "Rock Around the Clock," as well as Checker's sole pre-"Twist" Top 40 hit, "The Class," a comedy rocker with his imitations of Elvis, Fats Domino (now that must have been a stretch), the Coasters, and the Chipmunks. It's energetic stuff that's too unvaried in such a large chunk.