Dance Rock: The Twist, Etc.


The thrill of the late 1950s and the phenomenon of the early 1960s --the dance anyone can do-- was the twist. Nearly the hula-hoop movement without the hoop, the twist paved the way for the frug, watusi, monkey, pony, swim, snake, hully gully, etc., and even the limbo, mento, ska, and a new dance called the "regay" in some liners. Yes, these were the last days of teenagers and the older dancing generation sharing phonograph and stage.

The basics were Chubby Checker with the hit song (and endless variations), the Isley's "Twist and Shout," and Joey Dee & the Starlighters creating a scene at New York's Peppermint Lounge. All this healthy activity led to attempts at the twist by big bands, high-society orchestras, Latin artists, and of course rock and soul bands. (The list below excludes most of the obvious twist sources, such as the Champs, Coasters, Joe Houston, Louie Prima, Huey Smith, etc.)

The twist made its most interesting impact abroad, on French pop, Tahitian, and presumably even Indian and Hawaiian artists. It is a goofy legacy, but after all, it is where rock and social dancing parted company.

Buying: Most dance-rock records are taken for granted, even by rock collectors, probably because so many are on budget labels. Look for original titles.



Dance Rock/Twist LPs

Rating
7The Adventurers: Can't Stop Twistin'; Columbia CS-8547
6Steve Alaimo: Twist with Steve Alaimo; Checker LP-2981; 1961
8Aki Aleong & his Licorice Twisters: Twistin' the Hits; Reprise R-6011; 1961
8Aki Aleong & his Teen Twenty: C'mon Baby Let's Dance; Reprise R-6020; 1961
8Ray Anthony & his Bookends: The Twist; Capitol ST-1668
6Ray Anthony & his Bookends: The Swim; Capitol ST-2188
5Bill Black's Combo: Twist Her; Hi SHL-32006
Carroll Brothers: College Twist Party; Cameo C-1015
Cal Carter: Twist Along [with Cal Carter]; Vee Jay 1041
6Chubby Checker: Twist with; Parkway P-7001; 1961
6Chubby Checker: For Twisters Only; Parkway P-7002; 1961
5Chubby Checker: It's Pony Time; Parkway P-7003; 1961
6Chubby Checker: Let's Twist Again; Parkway P-7004; 1961
5Chubby Checker: Your Twist Party with; Parkway P-7007; 1962
7Chubby Checker: Twistin' Round the World; Parkway P-7008; 1962
6Chubby Checker: For Teen Twisters Only; Parkway P-7009; 1962
5Chubby Checker: Don't Knock the Twist ST; Parkway P-7011 (with others)
5Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell; Parkway P-7013
5Chubby Checker: All the Hits by; Parkway P-7014 (compilation)
5Chubby Checker: Biggest Hits; Parkway P-7022 (compilation)
7Roz Croney, Queen of the Limbo: How Low Can You Go?; Audio Fidelity/Dauntless DS-6309/DM-4309; 1963 (rare limbo-rock w/Sun Ra backing!)
7King Curtis: Soul Time; Up Front UPF-157 (basic set reissued variously)
5Bobby Darin: Twist With; Atlantic/Atco 33-138
7The Cliff Davis Sextet: Discotheque A-Go-Go for the "In" Crowd; Epic LN-24173 (mod soul/twist/bongo)
6Danny Davis & the Titans: Let's Do the Twist for Adults; MGM SE-3997 (arr. Billy Mure)
4Meyer Davis Plays the Twist; Cameo SC-1014
4Joey Dee: Doin' the Twist at the Peppermint Lounge; Roulette SR-25166
4Joey Dee: Hey! Let's Twist ST; Roulette SR-25168
6Joey Dee: All the World is Twistin'; Roulette SR-25171
Joey Dee: Joey Dee; Roulette SR-25197
5Joey Dee: Dance Dance Dance; Roulette SR-25221
4Johnny Douglas: Dance Party Discotheque; RCA Camden CAS-883; 1965 (w/vocal by "The Eagles")
5Steve Douglas & the Rebel Rousers: Popeye, Twist, & Stomp; Crown CST-5254
7The Dynamic Batmen: Batman & Robin; Panda PAN-3035; 1966 (kids label but good; w/sound effects)
6Duane Eddy: Twistin' & Twangin'; RCA Victor LSP-2525; 1962
8Duane Eddy: Dance with the Guitar Man; RCA Victor LSP-2648; 1962
7Les Elgart: The Twist Goes to College; Columbia CS-8585; 1962
6Fats & the Chessmen: Let's Twist with (Come On Everybody Let's Do the Twist); Alshire/Somerset SF-15100
7The Four Ayalons: Sing Along with Israel; ATE SAC-633; 1962 (Algon Theatrical Enterprises, Inc.)
8Connie Francis: Do the Twist; MGM SE-4022 (stereo is abridged)
7Bobby Freeman: C'mon and S-W-I-M with Bobby Freeman; Autumn 102 (mod soul/dance rock)
6Stan Freeman & the Twisters: Everybody's Twistin'; Columbia CS-8362
5The Gauchos, Featuring Jim Doval; ABC-Paramount ABCS-506 (best for wack cover of "Out of Sight")
7Steve Garrick & his Party Twisters: Come On Everybody Let's Twist!; Golden Tone 14092
5George & Teddy & the Condors: In Person from Ciro's Le Disc; Warner Bros./Reprise R-6135
7Curley Hamner: Dance Session Number One; Ascot AS-16003
6George Hudson & the Kings of Twist; Capitol ST-1578
7Ed Hurst: The Dance Album!-- 22 Greatest All-Time Dance Hits; Post 673 (compilation; various artists)
8Bobby Jay & the Hawks: The Watusi--Everybody's Doing It Vol. 1; Warner Bros. WS-1562
6Bobby Jay & the Hawks: The Ska--Everybody's Doing It Vol. 2; Warner Bros. WS-1563
5Bobby Jay & the Hawks: The Monkey--Everybody's Doing It Vol. 3; Warner Bros. WS-1564
5The Killer Joe Orchestra: Killer Joe's International Discotheque; Atlantic SD-8108; 1965 (Killer Joe Piro)
6Bruce Johnston Surfing Band: Surfers' Pajama Party; Delphonic DFST-1228/DFLP-1228; 1963 (live dance-rock LP with "Surfers Stomp")
7Mango Jones w/Harry Ballu Singers: The Ska; Vee-Jay VJLP-1091
5Sammy Kaye: New Twists on Old Favorites; Decca DL-74247
5Captain Kings & the Monkeytimers: The Monkey Time; Palace 762
6The Kingsmen [in Person, featuring Louie, Louie]; Wand 657
6The Kingsmen Volume 2; Wand 659-S
6The Kingsmen Volume 3; Wand 662-S
The Kingsmen On Campus; Wand 670-S
6The Kingsmen: 15 Great Hits; Wand WDS-674
7The Kingsmen: Up & Away; Wand WDS-675
7Lou Klayman: Twistin' the Freilachs; Sonodor SON-104
8Moe Koffman: Swingin' Shepherd Plays the Twist; Ascot AS-16001/AM-13001; 1962 (flute; jacket: Moe Koffman, the Swingin' Shepherd, Plays for Teens)
6Major Lance: The Monkey Time; Okeh OKS-14105
7Lester Lanin: Twistin' in High Society; Epic BN-620
6Lester Lanin: More Twistin' in High Society; Epic BN-625
4Lester Lanin: Dancing at the Discotheque; Philips PHS-6---145
7Busby Lewis' International Discotheque Orchestra: International A-Go-Go Discotheque; Diplomat DS-2371
7The Lions: Twist with the Lions; MGM MS-300 (Billy Mure)
4Johnny McGee & his International Twisters: Everybody Twist; Pickwick/Grand Prix KS-193
6Buddy Morrow: Big Band Guitar; RCA Victor LSP-2018; 1959
7Arthur Murray's Music for Dancing--the Twist!; RCA Victor LSP-2494; 1961 (King Curtis Combo)
5Arthur Murray Presents Discotheque Dance Party; RCA Victor LSP-2998; 1964 (Victor Gerard & Hip City Five)
6The Orchids: Twistin' at the Roundtable with the Orchids; Roulette SR-25169 (live)
4The Night Owls: Twistin' the Oldies; Valmor LP-79
5Pierre Noles: Everybody Dance the Ay Bo Le; Coral 757447 (Haitian dance rock)
6Earl Palmer: Drumsville!; Liberty LST-7201
7[The Drums of] Earl Palmer: Percolator Twist & Other Twist Hits; Liberty LST-7227
4The Panics: Discotheque Dance Party; Philips PHS-600-159 (live in NJ)
4Seldon Powell & the All Stars: At the Hop; Music Makers/Promotion Makers PMI-101 (live in NYC; w/Eric Gayle, Bobby Bushnell, Bernard Purdie..)
4The Regents Live at the A.M.-P.M. Discotheque; Capitol KAO-2153
7Round Robin & the Parleys: [Lloyd Thaxton Presents the] Greatest Dance Hits Slauson Style; Domain 101; 1964
7Ronnie & the Pomona Casuals: Everybody Jerk; Donna DO-2112; 1964 (covers James Brown's "Out of Sight")
6The Scamps: Teen Dance & Sing Along Party; Project 8002 (rare early Lee Hazlewood production!; includes lyric sheet insert)
7Randy Seol & the Goldtones: Teenbeat Time with Randy Seol & the Goldtones; Apex/La Brea LS-8011 (live; could be considered garage/lounge act; 1962-started Las Vegas club first in US for teens; jacket: The Goldtones, featuring Randy Seol: Live at the Teenbeat A Go Go; La Brea L-8011)
7Sounds Incorporated; EMI/Columbia SCX-3531; 1964 (UK; dance rock/mod twist)
6The Starfires: Teenbeat A Go Go; Apex/La Brea LS-8018 (live; could be considered garage/lounge act; 1962-started Las Vegas club first in US for teens)
6Carl Stevens: High Society Twist; Mercury SR-60664
7The Temples: Bei Mir Twist du Schoen; Ad-Lib
5Jim Tyler: Twist; Time S-2053
6Pat & Lolly Vegas at the Haunted House; Mercury SR-61059; 1965 (a good original, also "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" & "High Blood Pressure")
4Mike Vinnie & his Twisters: Plenty of Twist!; Clarity 821
4/TD>Uncredited: Discotheque; Premier/Coronet CX-252
3Uncredited: Discotheque Dance Party; Diplomat D-2334
5Various: Dance on the Wild Side; Chancellor CHL-5028 (live; The Playboys: Fat Backs & Greens, Duck Walk, Hey Mrs. Jones, Night Train Twist, Take a Chance on Love, Booty Green, Hand Clappin'; The Cousins: Flamingo, St. Louis Blues Twist, Goody Goody; George Young: Twistin' Marie, Birdland Hully-Gully Twist)
3Various: Dancing Discotheque; Mercury SR-60964
3Various: Discotheque Dance Party; MGM SE-4258-2 (2-LP)
7Various (Kings of the Twist): Everybody's Twist Happy; Popside PLP-502 (Billy Johnson, Tom King & the Starfires, Ziggy Gonzales, Carole & Sherry, Vince Mauro, Little John's Twisters)
Various: Jet Set Dance Discotheque Vol. 1; Audio Fidelity DFS-7039; 1964
Various: Jet Set Dance Discotheque Vol. 2; Audio Fidelity DFS-7040; 1964
6Various: Jet Set Dance Discotheque Vol. 3; Audio Fidelity DFS-7041; 1964
3Various: Discotheque; Mercury Wing MGW-12284-W
8Various: The Most of the Twist; Roulette SR-25176
6Various: Twist with the Stars; Mercury SR-60687 (good for Clyde McPhatter's cover of "What I'd Say")
9Various: Twistin' Time; Knight LP-1001 (compilation from 45s)


Partly Dance-Rock LPs

Rating
7Edie Adams: Behind Those Swingin' Doors; Decca DL-74488 ("Frankie & Johnny"; torch/beatnik/dance rock)
7Mickey O'Bryan Quartet: Jamaica's Gift to the World; Ivanhoe IV-12345 (Caribeat, calypso jazz, mod soul, twist, calypso, bossa)
8The Challengers: Surfing with the Challengers; Atco/Vault 101-A; 1963 (surf/dance rock/space rock)
8Jerry Cole and his Spacemen: Outer Limits; Capitol ST-2044 (surf/dance rock/space rock)
7Troy Donahue/Connie Stevens/Ty Hardin/Stefanie Powers/Robert Conrad: Palm Springs Weekend ST; Warner Bros. WS-1519
6Jack La Forge: Hawaii & I; Purpletone P-715 ("Orchid Twist")
6Connie Francis: Looking for Love ST; MGM SE-4229
7Connie Francis: The Very Best of; MGM ST-90510
8Glindemann: Media Music Release No. 1 Record 9--International Jazz--Rock & Roll; Capitol Custom (production; dance rock/mod soul/mod twist/soul rock/jazz)
4Earle Hagen: The New Interns ST; Colpix SCP-473; 1964
6Kenyon Hopkins: The Fugitive Kind ST; United Artists UAS-5065/UAL-4065; 1960 ("Get Crazy")
7Henry Mancini: Experiment in Terror ST; RCA Victor LSP-2442; 1962
6Henry Mancini: Charade ST; RCA Victor LSP-2755; 1963
7Henry Mancini: The Pink Panther ST; RCA Victor LSP-2795; 1963 ("The Tiber Twist")
6Jack Marshall: Tuff Jack; Capitol ST-1727
8Det Moor (comp./arr. Bob Mersey): Great Jazz from Great TV; Gallant GT-4001 ("Rock in the Rough" a.k.a. "Riff Raff")
5Buddy Morrow: Night Train Goes to Hollywood; Mercury SR-60702
7Buddy Morrow & his "Night Train" Orchestra: Big Band Guitar; RCA Victor LSP-2218; 1959
7Buddy Morrow & his Orchestra: Poe for Moderns; RCA Victor LSP-2208; 1960
8Gene Moss: Dracula's Greatest Hits; RCA Victor LSP-2977; 1964 ("Monster Bossa Nova"; horror/novelty/exotic/surf/dance rock; with Fred Rice & Billy Riley)
6Glenn Osser: In My Merry Oldsmobile; Dajon DJ-88-98 (commerce/jazz/Latin/bagpipes/dance rock/Hawaiian/themes; 26 versions of the title tune)
7Nino Palermo & his Serenaders; Philips 111.062.Y (lounge act/twist/Italian)
7Nelson Riddle/Various: Exclusive Original Television Soundtrack Album; 20th Century-Fox TFS-4180; 1966
6The Spinners: Party-My Pad, After Surfin'; Time S-2092 (surf/partly dance rock)
7Carl Stevens: African Sounds; Mercury PPS-6030 ("King Kong"; African/exotic rock/exotica/mod twist; partly on Various: Hit Motion Picture Themes; Mercury SR-60810)
8Connie Stevens as "Cricket" in the Warner Bros. TV Show "Hawaiian Eye"; Warner Bros. WS-13825; 1960
7Leith Stevens & Stu Phillips: The Interns ST; Colpix SCP-427; 1962
4Billy Strange: The James Bond Theme--Walk Don't Run '64; GNP Crescendo GNPS-2004 ("In the Mood")
7Ross Talbot: Bermuda is Paradise; Audio Fidelity AFSD-6125; 1964 (calypso; Talbot Brothers of Bermuda solo LP)
8Gerhard Trede/Peter Schirmann/Martin Bottcher: Dance-Latin & Twenties/Rock 'n Roll; CBS Records EZ Cue EZQ-174 (production; mod soul/dance rock/Latin/psyche)
7Various: [Great] Big Beat; Columbia Special Products/General Electric (2-LP)
7Various: Bosworth Backgrounds: Modern Rhythm; Bosworth BLP-109; 1969 (production)
6Various: Music for the Dance Crowd; Time S/310 (some overlap w/box)
6Various: Music for the Dance Crowd; Time S/TT-310 (3-LP box; some overlap w/LP)


Twist/Dance-Rock 45s & EPs

Rating
6Pete Bennett & the Embers: Fever/Soft; Sunset 1002 (twist/mod/organ)
8Jimmy Caster & his Quintet (sic-Castor!): The American Twist Parts 1 & 2; Clown 1015 (space-rock/twist; sic-Jimmy Castor!)
6Eugene Church: Miami/I Ain't Goin' for That; Class 245
6The Dovells: You Can't Sit Down/Stompin' Everywhere; Parkway P-867; 1962
6The Fabulous Four: Mister Twist/In the Chapel in the Moonlight; Chancellor 45-1062
8Connie Francis: Roundabout/Bossa Nova Hand Dance; MGM K-13389 (B-side bossa-nova-twist)
6Marvelettes: Twistin' Postman/I Want a Guy; Tamla 54054
[The Monkey--dance; see also Vinyl Safari/exotic rock]
7The Peels: Juanita Banana/[Everybody have] Fun; Audio Fidelity/Karate 522 (arr. & cond. by the great Charles Fox)
7The Peels/The Rockers EP: Juanita Banana; Audio Fidelity/Karate ASK-8.001 (Juanita Banana/[Everybody have] Fun/Jes' Fruggin'/Banana Dance)
6The Raging Storms: Hound Dog [Twist]/The Dribble (Twist); Warwick M-677
3Bill Shepherd/Gary Miller EP: Tequila/Lollipop EP; Pye/Vogue PNV-24.026 (Tequila/Big Guitar/Lollipop/Dancing w/My Shadow)
7Freddy Tino & the Twisting Cyclones: Come On Let's Twist/Shoestring Twist; Ric 988


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