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Rock 08/08/2006

Frustrated Chubby Checker Tells The Strip Podcast He's as Important as Elvis or the Beatles

Las Vegas (PODSHOW) - Chubby Checker complained he's as important to music and dance as the Beatles and Elvis but doesn't get the same airplay or the recognition.

The 1960s singing sensation, best known for "The Twist" and "Limbo Rock," vented his frustration to the Las Vegas celebrity interview podcast "The Strip" ahead of his concert in Vegas this weekend.

"Of all the 60s, there was Elvis, there was the Beatles, there was the British invasion, Jimmy Hendrix and Woodstock, the No. 1 record was 'The Twist'," said Checker in a phone interview from his home in Philadelphia. "Here I am with a better batting average than most people who ever sang a song, and I struggle. I don't want to make it sound so bad, but the point is, I'm not getting the airplay. Nobody's playing my music and nobody's giving me credit for my work. It's very painful sometimes."
Checker laid claim to inventing modern club dance, something he calls "dancing together apart to the beat."

"The way we danced in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s and now 2000s, it's all about Chubby Checker, very quietly hidden in the archives of the music cabinets. I'm all woven so tight into this business more than any other performer but it's so much right in front of our faces that you can't imagine one person had something to do with all that."

Checker also groused about Dick Clark, who launched Checker with a 1959 appearance on "American Bandstand" and whose wife suggested the surname "Checker" for the then-up-and-comer. When "Strip" interviewer Steve Friess noted that Clark has said in the past that Checker deserves more recognition, Checker took aim at his benefactor.

"If Dick Clark wants to correct that record, he owns like 20 radio stations and he can give my music more airplay," Checker said.

Checker, 65, is the only artist to take the same song to No. 1 twice, as he did with "The Twist" in 1960 and 1962. He also was the first musician to earn a platinum record with "Let's Twist Again."

The audio of this show and any edition of "The Strip," which posts every Thursday night, can be found at

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