If there has ever been artists to get a ton of mileage out of one song, it’s Chubby Checker and “The Twist.” Yeah I know he had other hits in the ’60s, but Checker hasn’t been able to milk “Pony Time” for everything from song sequels to ads for Oreo cookies and the Social Security Administration.
Today’s featured album cover comes from Checker’s commercial prime. It’s a 1961 covers album entitled For Twisters Only, and it was clearly meant to capitalize on his biggest song, which had hit #1 in 1960.
Surprisingly this LP (Parkway Records, P 7002) did not contain “The Twist” at all, but rather a host of hits from the ’50s such as “Hound Dog,” “Rock Around the Clock,” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”
Graphically this is primitive but appealing. There’s the obvious choice of a checker board pattern for the background, but I dig the tornado/twister motif. I’m sure fans in the Midwest loved it too.
The one thing I can’t figure out is why the artist for this appears to have drawn the map of the United States this way. Apparently Alabama and Florida — as well as Ohio and Kentucky — combined to form one state in the late ’50/early ’60s and I wasn’t aware of it. Likewise Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have became a giant super-state and bludgeoned New Jersey into a shapeless blob. Such was the power of Chubby Checker’s unstoppable dance phenomenon in the ’60s I suppose.
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