Limbo Rock

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"Limbo Rock"
Single by Chubby Checker
from the album Limbo Party
B-side "Popeye the Hitchhiker"
Released October 1962
Format 7"
Genre limbo, rock, Rock and roll
Length 2:22
Label Parkway
Writer(s) Jon Sheldon, Billy Strange
Chubby Checker singles chronology
"Dancin' Party"
(1962)
"Limbo Rock"
(1962)
"Popeye the Hitchhiker"
(1962)

"Limbo Rock" is a popular song about limbo dancing written by Kal Mann (under the pseudonym Jon Sheldon) and Billy Strange. An instrumental version was first recorded by The Champs in 1961. The first vocal version was recorded in 1962 by Chubby Checker (on Parkway Records): it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on the Cash Box charts. The Chubby Checker recording also made it to number three on the R&B charts.[1]

Checker then released a sequel, Let's Limbo Some More, in 1963, which peaked at #20 in the Billboard chart.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by a long list of artists including Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, The Champs, The Ventures, Fozzie Bear, Sebastian the crab, Chet Atkins and Hank Snow (on their joint album C.B. Atkins & C.E. Snow by Special Request), The Knickerbockers, Klaus Wunderlich, The Routers, Arthur Lyman, Skiantos, Jaume Sisa. Because the song is literally about limbo, versions of the song by lesser-known cover bands appear on various Latin music, Calypso music and reggae compilation records. It also appears on a number of children's music albums.

In the Perfect Strangers 1988 episode "Just Desserts", the song Balki sings when preparing and making "Bibby Babkas", while with completely different lyrics, is sung to the same melody as Limbo Rock.

2003 remix[edit]

Chubby Checker released a remix of the song in 2003, titled "Limbo Rock (Remixes)," produced Mike Rogers and Gary Lefkowith and featuring Inner Circle. Phil Sweetland, writing for the New York Times stated that at "age 62 and 43 years after "The Twist," Chubby Checker once again comes up with a top-five single: a hip-hop-flavored version of another of his 1960s' hits, "Limbo Rock." Sweetland also states that the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard listed the song at No. 3 on its Hot Dance Singles sales chart, making it Mr. Checker's first top-five hit since the original Limbo Rock in 1962.[3]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Chubby Checker 1962 recording was featured in the 1988 film Hairspray.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 114. 
  2. ^ Pat Browne (2001), The guide to United States popular culture, p. 154, ISBN 978-0-87972-821-2 
  3. ^ ARTS: Arts Briefing: Highlights; Chubby redux via remix by Phil Sweetland. The New York Times, December 25, 2003

External links[edit]