Bandleader Chubby Checker popularized the dance with his 1960 hit The Twist.Faced with explaining to the youthful audience how to do the dance, a member of his entourage came up with the following description:
"It's like putting out a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music."
In 1961, at the height of the Twist craze, patrons at New York's hot Peppermint Lounge on West 45th Street were twisting to the music of the house band, a local group from Jersey, Joey Dee & the Starliters. Their house song "Peppermint Twist (Part 1)," became the number one song in the country for three weeks in January 1962. Sailors and hookers, hip gays and weekending Yalies danced alongside New York's social elite at the legendary Peppermint Lounge.