Chubby Checker, featured on the third in a series of Wildwoods Icon Wall Murals, is synonymouswith the Wildwoods and the birth of the iconic, generational dance craze, ‘The Twist’
The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) unveiled its third Icon Wall Mural in the Wildwoods, September 7, located on the south facing side of Romeos Pizzeria (3707 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood, NJ).
Chubby Checker was selected as the subject of the third Icon Wall Mural to commemorate the 55th anniversary of his hit song and dance ‘The Twist’ – which was performed for the very first time live in the Wildwoods at the old 60’s hot-spot, the Rainbow Club – located just a block from where the commemorative wall is now displayed.
Ernest Evans, aka Chubby Checker, attended the unveiling of the 40’ x 12’ Icon Wall Mural, which features his likeness doing the iconic Twist from the 1950’s. The unveiling event also served as the kick-off to the Wildwoods’ ‘Second Season’ – GWTIDA’s promotion of major fall events and festivals as a means of filling hotel rooms and restaurant seats during the cooler autumn months.
John Siciliano, executive director for GWTIDA explained, “We could not think of a better artist for the third Icon Wall Mural than Chubby Checker – the man, who gave birth to ‘The Twist’ and performed it right here in the Wildwoods, forever changing music for future generations.”
Susan Daly, owner and primary artist of Masters Mural Studio – a custom artwork and design production company – and the artist for the second Icon Wall Mural of Bill Haley and the Comets, was once again selected as the artist for the Icon Wall Mural. Daly has painted custom artwork for casinos, restaurants and private individuals for 30 years. Daly is located in the South Jersey area – her work is most prominent in Atlantic City, NJ and Charleston, SC. For more information on Susan Daly please visit www.mastersmuralstudio.com.
The Chubby Checker Icon Wall Mural is the third in a series of several murals planned throughout the Wildwoods. GWTIDA conceived of and developed the Icon Wall Murals project to beautify selected public spaces while heightening appreciation of how the Wildwoods have evolved over the decades into a living, breathing slice of Americana. The Icon Wall Murals feature key individuals or one-of-a-kind treasures that have significantly contributed to Wildwoods’ colorful history and unique culture that has drawn people of all ages to this shore resort destination for generations.
Chubby Checker was born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, but grew up in South Philadelphia, where he lived with his parents and two brothers. In July 1960, the then-18-year-old Chubby performed ‘The Twist’ at the Rainbow Club in Wildwood and just weeks later, on August 6, 1960, the song became a national sensation after Checker performed it on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
Chubby Checker is synonymous with the Wildwoods and the birth of an iconic, generational dance craze. Rock ‘n Roll had a sound and a beat, but it didn’t have a dance until the Wildwoods and ‘The Twist.’ Chubby Checker changed the way people dance to the beat since 1960. In the fall of 1961, record industry history was made when Checker’s original hit record, ‘The Twist’, re-entered the charts and by January of 1962, it was back in the #1 position. No other record before or since has accomplished that feat, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.