Chubby Checker brings 50-plus years of “The Twist” to Biloxi

Chubby Checker will play a double-bill with War on Saturday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi.
Chubby Checker will play a double-bill with War on Saturday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi. Courtesy

It’s been more than 50 years since Chubby Checker had his first No. 1 hit. And five decades later, “The Twist” has been named the “No. 1 song of all time” by Billboard Magazine. It will remain that way until 2065.

“This means from the time Adam and Eve walked the Earth until 2065, I have the No. 1 song,” Checker said in an interview with the Sun Herald. “I’m very proud of that.”

Checker will be bringing “The Twist,” “The Hucklebuck” and other music that spans his career to the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi on Saturday at 8 p.m. The show will be a double bill with Los Angeles funk pioneers War.

“I like playing in Biloxi, but I like playing everywhere,” Checker said. “When I’m on stage, it’s what I do — I play — but I play Mississippi a lot. I’m from North Carolina, but that’s too far north for you guys.”

Sept. 21 was named “National Twist Day,” which was also the day the song was used to raise money and awareness to help fight childhood cancer. “The Twist Challenge” was similar to the the ALS :Ive Bucket Challenge.”

“We asked every radio station in the country to play ‘The Twist’ on Sept. 21,” Checker said. “And we’ve got the ALS people on board to help us raise some money for childhood cancer.”

“The Twist” hit the top of the Billboard charts on Sept. 19, 1960. And some 56 years later, Checker that although he is grateful for the song’s success, he said he is not surprised his song has become part of American popular culture.

“ ‘The Twist’ is what we do on the dance floor, it’s sexy — ‘The Twist,’ ‘The Pony’ and ‘The Hucklebuck’ — all the Chubby Checker songs are what we are doing on the dance floor because if you’re not line dancing or you’re not slow dancing, what else are you doing?” Checker said.

But Checker said he also worries about his songs place in history.

“Radio doesn’t play my music anymore,” he said. “They still play The Beatles and ‘Twist and Shout,’ but they don’t play ‘The Twist’ like they to and there’s a whole generation that is going to associate ‘The Twist’ with The Beatles — that really does something to you, you know”?

He said people still write him letters and send him emails to show their appreciation for “The Twist.”

“It really is an invention that is like something created by Thomas Edison — you use it every day,” Checker said. “It’s such a phenomenon that you forget that one person was involved.”

Checker said his show in Biloxi is one people will not want to miss.

“We show up, we burn it up, we level the place and then we go home,” he said. “We’re going to come in and burn it down and then we are going to go home.”

If you go

Chubby Checker and War

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino at 875 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi

8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1

Tickets start at $15 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.