Tales from the Atomic Age

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

New dances were competing for the spotlight left and right around this time. The Hully Gully and the Watusi were hot, and then it was "Mashed Potato Time" in the spring of '62, a smash for Checker's slow-twist partner Dee Dee Sharp, who replaced the cigarette stamping with an imaginary mess of gooey potatoes on the dance floor. The Twist continued to stave off all comers; The Isley Brothers had a lot to do with keeping it alive. "Twist and Shout" had unsuccessfully entered... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

LaVern Baker

LaVern Baker "cried" herself a spot on the Top 100 Atlantic-Atco Hits of the '50s and '60s! Check out the vintage hits of New York's great independent label... MORE ››

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The Zombies

It's an often-told story: a band forms, has a few hits, becomes disillusioned with the inner workings of the record business and calls it quits. In the case of The Zombies, there's one wrinkle: once disbanded, they had another hit. A very big one. Yet they resisted any temptation to reverse direction. Still, an eventual regrouping took place, as much fan-driven as the realization by individual members that the experience had, perhaps, been prematurely cut short. Three students at St. Albans School (in the city of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, about 25 miles north of central London) formed the group around 1961: Paul Atkinson played guitar, Hugh Grundy... MORE ››

Vinyl Attack Dobie Gray

The "In" Crowd
by Dobie Gray

When Billy Page wrote the lyrics to "The 'In' Crowd," it probably wasn't his intention to glorify the social group that claimed 'We breeze up and down the street...we get respect from the people we meet' while shunning the geeks, freaks and misfits...in other words, the rest of us, the 90 percent majority that might not warm up to a song about those ... MORE ››