Ernest Evans is better known by a name given to him by a former boss when he was in high school — Chubby.
Under the moniker Chubby Checker, Evans recorded a string of hits, most notably 1959’s “The Twist.” In 1961, Chubby recorded “Pony Time,” which went to number one and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks, according to his website.
Checker performs at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Saturday.
“In total, Checker notched 32 chart hits before the bubble burst in 1966; as interest in dance novelties dwindled, he briefly turned to folk music, and became a regular on the nightclub circuit,” according to a biography by Jason Ankeny. “From the 1970s onward, he was a staple of oldies revival tours; in 1982, more than a decade after his last studio LP, he signed with MCA and issued the disco-inspired ‘The Change Has Come,’ scoring a pair of minor hits with the singles ‘Running’ and ‘Harder Than Diamond.’ In 1988, Checker returned to the Top 40 for the first time in a quarter century when he appeared on the Fat Boys’ rap rendition of ‘The Twist,’ and he continued touring regularly throughout the decade to follow.”
Checker released “Knock Down the Walls” in 2008 and “Changes” earlier this year. The ballad is a departure from his most well known work and highlights the 72-year-old singer’s still-powerful pipes.
Checker also has line of beef jerky under the brand name Chubby Checker’s Snacks.
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