2. The Twist & Let’s Twist Again


The first song I remember liking enough to do something about was The Twist, sung by Chubby Checker. The song seemed to be everywhere when I was in kindergarten and first grade.

Ray Raynor showed us how to twist on the Ray Raynor Show, telling his audience to pretend they were toweling off after a bath. He demonstrated by holding a bath towel in his hands with the middle part behind the small of his back, then quickly pulling on either side of the towel as if he was drying his lower back.

When my kindergarten teacher played the song on the record player in her classroom, I was all set and knew exactly what to do, thanks to Ray Raynor. I held my fists out as if I had a towel by the corners and wiggled my butt and closed my eyes, dancing away. When I opened them, the song was over and Ms Freeman was standing near me trying hard not to laugh.

When I got a little older, I still liked the song and was pleased to see that my parents had a version of it. I’d put it on our HiFi and wiggle my butt and pretend to towel off, just as Ray Raynor told me to.

Come on everybody clap your hands
Now you’re looking good
I’m gonna sing my song and you won’t take long
We gotta do the twist and it goes like this

Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer
Yea, let’s twist again like we did last year
Do you remember when things were really hummin’
Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here

Though I’m not a dancer, just thinking about that song makes my hips begin to move back and forth and occasionally when I towel off after a shower I think about Ray Raynor and Chubby Checker and I want to Twist Again, like I did last summer…

(Ok, the shower image is a little disturbing.)

7 thoughts on “2. The Twist & Let’s Twist Again

  1. One thing I love about you is your ability to make me laugh. And you’re such a great storyteller. But my favorite line here comes at the very beginning: “The first song I remember liking enough to do something about…”And there’s nothing like starting the day with a disturbing shower image!

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  2. OMG I got so excited reading about Ray Raynor! What a legend! and what Chicagoian didn’t grow-up watching his show every morning? I still like to pick a number and try to make a little doodle from it. All thanks to Ray. And do you remember Chelsea?What a great sketch and I’ll never hear this song quite the same again. THANK YOU Cedar! Very cute.

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  3. Chevelston I mean and Cuddly Duddly? My brother got a giant stuffed Cuddly Duddly that was bigger than him when he was little, complete with a cardboard car. See what you’ve started? Nice.

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  4. Honestly the only things I remember about Ray Raynor are his jumpsuit with the notes, his duck – Chevelston- and the twist. Don’t remember Cuddly Dudly.

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