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Philly's Chubby Checker to Rock Hall: Induct Me or 'Drop Dead'

By John Carucci
|  Friday, Jun 13, 2014  |  Updated 7:15 AM EDT
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Checker to Rock Hall: Induct Me or 'Drop Dead'

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Chubby Checker, the man who revolutionized "The Twist", came from the projects of South Philadelphia.

Chubby Checker wants the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to know it's time to induct him into their exclusive club before it's too late.

"I don't want to get in there when I'm 85-years old. I'll tell them to drop dead, so you better do it quick while I'm still smiling," Checker said on Thursday.

The South Philadelphia native's recording of "The Twist," and subsequent, "Let's Twist Again" are considered among the most popular songs in the history of Rock and Roll.

"Let's Twist Again' was the first rock and roll song that received a Grammy (in 1962)," Checker pointed out.

The 72-year old recording artist equates a place in the Cleveland, Ohio-based hall to the ability to sustain his career.

"If you put me in when I'm too old to make a living, then it's no good for me to be in there."

He added: "The Rolling Stones, they're in there. The Beastie Boys are in there, they're young. Hall and Oates were just in there and they're still making money."

He made the comments on the red carpet for the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York where Checker performed "Let's Twist Again" for the ASCAP Centennial celebration.

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, Daryl Hall mentioned that Hall and Oates was the first Philadelphia-based band to be inducted. And after mentioning Chubby Checker, he responded: "Why isn't he in?"

And he's not alone. Before going into Thursday’s ceremony, legendary songwriter Kenny Gamble -- of the songwriting team Gamble and Huff -- said he feels Checker is long overdue.

"I think Chubby Checker should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's the only person I know to have the same song go to No. 1 twice."

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