On January 26, 1962, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker finally ends its record-setting run at #1. ”The Twist” had been a non-hit in 1958 for its writer, Hank Ballard, best known for 1954’s “Work With Me Annie,” which was then considered filthy enough to warrant an FCC ban. Believing “The Twist” to be a potential smash, but unwilling to have the controversial Ballard on his American Bandstand, Dick Clark picked the wholesome Chubby Checker to record a cover. With the help of Clark’s tireless on-air promotion, “The Twist” turned Chubby Checker into an overnight success when it shot to the top of the Billboard pop chart in September 1960. As all hit records do, “The Twist” then faded away. The dance craze it popularized did, too, as America’s teenagers moved on to things like the Mashed Potato and the Pony. Chubby Checker had a second #1 hit just five months after “The Twist” with “Pony Time,” and then something remarkable happened. A full year after the initial success of “The Twist,” a gossip item in the New York papers placed actress Merle Oberon and the elderly exile Prince Serge Obolensky of Russia at the Peppermint Lounge, Twisting the night away. Suddenly a fad was reborn—this time among American adults, who took to the Twist with an alacrity that must have provoked uncountable cringes among their teenaged children. Soon enough, “The Twist” began a remarkable second run up the charts, reclaiming the #1 spot on January 13 and finally relinquishing it on this day in 1962. It was the first and only time a pop single has fallen completely out of Billboard‘s “Hot 100″ only to re-attain the #1 spot in a completely separate release. Do the “Twist” on hoopla and in Freegal.
Jules Ralph Feiffer, award-winning American syndicated cartoonist, illustrator and author, who was considered the most widely read satirist in the country was born in Bronx, NY on January 26, 1929. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 as America’s leading editorial cartoonist, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame. He wrote the animated short, Munro, which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1961. The Library of Congress has recognized his “remarkable legacy,” from 1946 to the present, as a cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, adult and children’s book author, illustrator and art instructor. He has written more than 35 books, plays and screenplays. His first of many collections of satirical cartoons, Sick, Sick, Sick, was published in 1958, and his first novel, Harry, the Rat With Women, in 1963. He wrote The Great Comic Book Heroes in 1965, the first history of the comic book superheroes of the late 1930s and early 1940s, and a tribute to their creators. In 1979 Feiffer created his first graphic novel, Tantrum. By 1993 he began writing and illustrating books aimed at young readers, with several winning awards. Find Jules Feiffer at the library, on hoopla and in OverDrive.