Singer Chubby Checker and several band members were busted with marijuana today (June 23, 1970).
Chubby Checker is best known for his cover of Hank Ballard’s classic song “The Twist,” which has become one of the most widely recognizable songs/dances around the world.
The South Philly native rose to fame in July of 1960, when his version of “The Twist” was released.
From 1960 until 1964, Chubby Checker landed no less than 15 Top 20 singles on the charts.
But the hits stopped rolling in for Checker around 1965. Five years later, the legal issues arose.
The singer was busted with marijuana by U.S. Customs Agents, near Niagara Falls, New York, as they attempted to drive their van across Rainbow Bridge.
Chubby Checker, along with three members of his entourage including his road manager, organist and guitarist, were all charged with possessing drugs.
But Chubby Checker adamantly denied the allegations and said that he was addicted to sex and not drugs.
“I’m hooked on a little alcohol and a lot of sex,” Chubby Checker said. “I had nothing on my person. If I had not been driving the van, I would not have been in any trouble.”
According to Chubby, there were no drugs in his luggage or on his person, and he had been clean for nearly three years at the time of his arrest.
The singer noted that each member of his entourage was over 21 years of age, and he normally did not travel with them.
“They made a big deal out of this thing because Chubby Checker was driving. One report said I was in possession of a quarter pound of hash. That’s not true; only two or three cigarettes were found in the whole deal – and some pills.”
Chubby Checker was charged with a felony over the incident.
RareSoul Wax Facts: Chubby Checker recorded a psychedelic album in 1970’s titled Chequered! (alternately titled New Revelation).
Chubby Checker also hit #1 in Germany and Switzerland with a cover version of “The Twist” with Hip-Hop group The Fat Boys.