The Twist - Jim Dawson
When Chubby Checker debuted "The Twist" on Dick Clark's TV show in 1960, no one had any idea he would set the whole world Twisting and change forever the way people danced and created popular music. Jim Dawson traces the roots of the dance to Africa and the song to nineteenth-century American minstrel shows. Along the way he unearths how it was originally recorded by Hank Ballard and exposes the real reasons why Dick Clark and his business cronies appropriated the song for Checker. It's all here: the Mafia, the Peppermint Lounge, the many hit records, the terrible movies, the sleazy marketing, the payola, and of course racism--all set against an early 1960s background of Americans Twisting the night away (paperback, new).