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The Twist

From Academic Kids

The twist was a rock and roll dance popular in the early 1960s and also the name of the song that originated it. It was the first major international rock and roll dance style in which the couples did not touch each other while dancing.

The song was written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side, but failed to chart. The dance was first popularized by Chubby Checker in 1960 with a hit cover of "The Twist".

Faced with explaining to the youthful audience how to do the dance, a member of Checker's entourage came up with the following description:

"It's like putting out a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music."

In 1961, at the height of the Twist craze, patrons at New York's hot Peppermint Lounge on West 45th Street were twisting to the music of the house band, a local group from Jersey, Joey Dee & the Starliters. Their house song "Peppermint Twist (Part 1)," became the number one song in the United States for three weeks in January 1962. Sailors and hookers, hipsters and weekending Yalies danced alongside New York's social elite, including the Duke of Windsor, at the legendary Peppermint Lounge.

Quotations

  • "Come on, baby, let's do the twist!" -- opening line of "The Twist"de:Twist (Tanz)

pl:Twist

Barry McGee is a graffiti artist, working on the streets of America’s cities since the 1980s, where he is known by the tag name “Twist.” He was born in 1966 in California, where he continues to live and work. In 1991 he received a BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations take their inspiration from contemporary urban culture, incorporating elements such as empty liquor bottles and spray-paint cans, tagged signs, wrenches, and scrap wood or metal. http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/mcgee/

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