Chubby Checker coming to Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino Friday
On Friday, February 10, Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Mahnomen will host Grammy Award-winning rock-and-roller Chubby Checker at 8 p.m.
Earnest Evans, better known as Chubby Checker, was born in Spring Gulley, S.C.
He was raised in the projects of South Philadelphia, Pa., where he lived with his parents and two brothers.
By age eight, Evans had formed a street-corner harmony group, and by the time he entered high school, had learned to play the piano.
He would entertain his classmates by performing vocal impressions of popular entertainers of the day, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino.
Checker and his group quickly attracted the attention of notable music executives and other industry influencers, and in 1959, Checker signed a contract with Cameo-Parkway Records.
In 1960, at the age of 19, Checker recorded a 1960 cover of Hank Ballard's rhythm and blues single "The Twist." By 1961, the hit launched to the No. 1 spot for 18 consecutive weeks on the Billboard charts, after an appearance on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand."
Checker followed up "The Twist" with a string of chart-topping up-tempo dance tracks, including "The Huckleberry" (No. 14), "The Fly" (17), "Dance the Mess Around" (24), and "Pony Time," which became his second No. 1 hit single.
Checker also capitalized on the success of "The Twist" by releasing similarly titled tracks, such as "Twistin' U.S.A.," "Twist it Up," and "Let's Twist Again."
Around 1962, "The Twist" was once again considered a phenomenal success when it re-entered the charts for a record-breaking 21 weeks. Checker broke another record making this hit single the only one to ever appear in the No. 1 spot in two different years.
Checker won a Grammy for his 1961 hit single, "Let's Twist Again," in 1962. Checker's success over the last 30 years continued with more than 20 albums, six of which reached the Top 40, and extensive touring around the country with performances averaging 200-300 nights a year.