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Six Unforgettable Moments From American Bandstand

2. A Dance Craze Is Born

While Chubby Checker might not have been the first one to perform “The Twist,” he definitely was the most memorable (it was actually written and released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters in 1959). In fact, Dick Clark had a huge hand in the song’s popularity. The story goes that Ballard’s version of the song became popular on a local Baltimore dance show. When the host of that show recommended the song to Clark for Bandstand, Clark wanted to get Ballard on to perform it. Clark was unable to book Ballard, so he found a similar artist to perform it instead (Checker). He performed it on the show in 1960, and the rest is history!

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