Rapp on Jazz: Chubby Checker
Earnest Evans, born in the Spring Gully community of Georgetown, SC, is better known by his equally alliterative stage name: Chubby Checker.
Evans' family moved to Philadelphia when he was a child, where he later formed a street corner harmony group. At the time, Philadelphia was home to the show "American Bandstand" and its host Dick Clark, who discovered Evans. As a play on and and inspired by Evans' notorious impression of Fats Domino, Clark's wife Barbara gave him the stage name "Chubby Checker."
Checker became synonymous with dance tunes. In 1960, "The Twist" shot to number one on the Billboard chart. He won a Grammy award in 1962 for the sequel song "Let's Twist Again."
Earnest "Chubby Checker" Evans was awarded the highest honor in South Carolina, the Order of the Palmetto, in 1987.
This has been Rapp on Jazz, a co-production of the ColaJazz Foundation and SC Public Radio. Support for this program is made possible in part by Fox Music House of Columbia and Charleston.