He may be 72 years old, but Chubby Checker is still in the musical mix creating hit singles, hosting innovative TV specials and making “Changes.”
The man responsible for creating the classic dance the Twist recently did a quick-fire interview with Living Out Loud and proved he is still as lively and spunky as his epic dance moves.
Living Out Loud: You are co-hosting ”My Music: ’50s & ’60s Party Songs” with oldies impresario TJ Lubinsky this weekend. Why do you believe it is so important to preserve our musical heritage?
Chubby Checker: It tells us where we were and where we are going. Years from now, these people won’t be lost in the musical equation. Musical documentation preserves the musical history of an artist.
LOL: Tell us about your latest single, “Changes.” What can we expect musically? What was the inspiration behind it? Will there be a full album coming out?
CC: “Changes” is not like anything we’ve ever done. It’s about changing the thing that you don’t like when you look into the mirror. It’s about self improvement. We make one song at a time, and when we have enough of them, then it becomes an album. Only one song gets played on the radio, and not a lot of them.
LOL: What current Top 40 artists do you listen to, and why?
CC: I listen to all of them. I love [all of] their works. I don’t mention their names because I don’t hear them mention me in their interviews.
LOL: Oh snap! Mr. Checker tells it like it is. If you had to choose who to work with Beyoncé or Rihanna, who would you choose?
CC: I have great respect for both of these women. Both are very talented, but I think that I would like working with Rihanna because she’s crazy!
LOL: You are performing at select venues live, what can people expect when they see your performance?
CC: We sing the No. 1 song on the planet, “The Twist.” We sing the first Platinum ever given, “Lets Twist Again.” Chubby is on the dance floor with the Twist, the Pony, the Fly, the Shake and the Hucklebuck. I think Billy Idol said it best, “Dancing With Myself.” Chubby went on “American Bandstand” with “The Twist,” and [after those] two minutes and 42 seconds, we have been dancing by ourselves on the dance floor to everybody’s music that has a dance beat.
“My Music: ’50s & ’60s Party Songs” airs May 31 on PBS. For more information, visit chubbychecker.com.