Tales from the Atomic Age

The Twist: Ballard's Brainchild, Checker's Change of Fortune

Elvis even got into the act with a song that really had nothing to do with the dance craze. The picture sleeves and 45s of "Rock-A-Hula Baby" from the blockbuster movie Blue Hawaii labeled it as a "'Twist' Special." Other record companies used similar gimmicks to promote non-Twist records. 1962 was the peak year for the dance, with more than two dozen "Twist" hits making the national charts. Ernie Freeman contributed the inevitable instrumental version of the song ... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

Mongo Santamaria

Conga man Mongo Santamaria can be found in the middle of the Top 100 Instrumental Artists of the '50s and '60s! See all the pop, rock and rhythm players ... MORE ››

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Featured Artist


Wilson Pickett

Many an auditorium stage has been set ablaze by big, bold entertainers, but if you placed any of them in a screaming, shouting, soul singing standoff against Wilson Pickett, the Alabama born "Midnight Hour" man would score a sonic knockout; James Brown, his only real competition (that would be a matchup to remember!), might have to break out his signature dance moves to get a leg up on such a formidable opponent. Starting in 1962, when Wilson burst forth as the loudest of The Falcons' four lead singers, radio listeners were treated to a decade of extraordinary energy as he notched some of the hottest rhythmic hits this side of N.Y. By the mid-'60s a cunningly accurate nickname, The Wicked Pickett, had become widespread (in '67 it was the title of his fourth ... MORE ››

Vinyl Attack Allan Sherman

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!
♦ by Allan Sherman ♦

By the time "overnight" success arrived in the fall of 1962 for 37-year-old Allan Sherman, he'd spent about ten years attempting to get into showbiz followed by another decade past the foot-in-the-door stage as co-creator and producer of I've Got a Secret (the long-running prime time game show that debuted in 1952 on CBS) before moving on to other ... MORE ››