Checker's "Twist" tops all-time singles chart

Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:10pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Billboard) - The 50th-anniversary Hot 100 Song chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 since the singles chart's inception in August 1958 through July of this year.

Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least.

To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all 50 years, earlier time frames were each weighted to compensate for the differences in the faster turnover rates from those earlier decades, compared with the slower churn the Hot 100 has experienced since the advent of Nielsen Music data.

Here are the top 10 singles on Billboard's 50th-anniversary Hot 100.


Label: Parkway / Peak Date: 9/19/60 and 1/13/62 / Peak Position: 1 (1 week) and 1 (2 weeks)

"I resurrected a corpse" is how Chubby Checker feels about recording "The Twist" in the early summer of 1960. And Frankenstein's monster had nothing on his achievement.

"The Twist" is the only song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to enjoy two separate chart runs to No. 1: September 19, 1960 (one week), and, after an October 1961 appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," January 13, 1962 (two weeks). It also set a record for the most weeks (39) on the Hot 100 by a No. 1 song -- which held until UB40's "Red Red Wine" lasted 40 weeks in 1988. Others since have surpassed the mark.

"'The Twist' brought the world dancing apart (to) the beat," says Checker, now 66, who was born Ernest Evans in South Carolina before moving to Philadelphia. "Then came all our dances -- the Pony, the Mashed Potato, the Fly, the Hucklebuck -- all dancing apart to the beat. Chubby gave us that. How did he do it? With 'The Twist."'   Continued...

<p>Rock legend Chubby Checker sings his trademark song "The Twist" at a Denver Nuggets basketball game in Denver, Colorado, in this March 22, 2006 photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>