September 1960. Cassius Clay won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics, Mickey Mantle hit what was thought to be the longest home run ever (643 feet), and Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy held the first televised presidential debate in history.
But for me and my 12-year-old classmates, something more life-changing was afoot.
For on September 14, 1960 Chubby Checker, whose real name was Ernest Evans, saw his hit song, “The Twist,” debut at number one.
“The Twist” and it’s 1961 sequel, “Let’s Twist Again,” changed the way our generation danced for (I suppose) the rest of our lives. We danced with partners, but, at the same time, we danced alone.
I’m sure there were sociological implications to the phenomenon, but, for the life of me, I can’t think of any.
I just know that seemingly sane senior adults (now in their 50s and 60s) still try the same moves at high school reunions. Scary, huh?
And, to demonstrate my point, stand up you teens of the ’60s—that’s right, right beside your computers—and let’s do the twist.
Yeah round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we go again.
Oh baby make me know you love me so, then
Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer.
Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here.
*Neither the author nor the management of this blog is responsible for injuries suffered from participating in the above.