Chubby Checker has joined Bobby Rydell and Bill Haley & the Comets as an honoree in Wildwood’s Icon Wall Mural series. He attended the unveiling of the mural, Monday, after performing in Wildwood on Sunday.
Checker performed “The Twist” — his signature song and one of the biggest hits of the early days of rock — live for the first time in Wildwood, 55 years ago. Rydell had a big hit with his song “Wildwood Days” in 1963, and Haley and the Comets played their landmark hit “Rock Around the Clock” live for the first time in Wildwood in 1954.
Checker’s 40’ x 12’ mural — which features six images of him doing “The Twist,” plus the words, “Let’s Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer” — is on the south-facing side of Romeo’s Famous Pizzeria, at 3707 Pacific Ave., a block from the site where the Rainbow Club, at which he sang “The Twist,” in 1960, once existed. The artist was Susan Daly, who also created the Haley mural.
The mural project was conceived and developed by the The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. “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,” said GWTIDA executive director John Siciliano, in a press release.
Chubby Checker performs with The Spinners at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Oct. 16; visit mayoarts.org.