Checker performed on the Philadelphia streets before signing with Cameo-Parkway Records in and recording his version of Hank Ballard's "The Twist. Checker still performs today and was featured in a popular ad for Nabisco's Oreo cookies. Checker's family moved to Philadelphia, and as a young boy, he worked various jobs shining shoes, selling ice and assisting in a butcher's shop. Because of his heavy build, he got his nickname, Chubby, while working as a teen at Tony Anastazi's Produce Store.
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In September , "The Twist" topped Billboard ' s list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot since its debut in , an honor it maintained for an August update of the list. He entertained his classmates by performing vocal impressions of popular entertainers of the day, such as Jerry Lee Lewis , Elvis Presley and Fats Domino. It was his boss at the Produce Market, "Tony A. The owner of Fresh Farm Poultry, Henry Colt, was so impressed by the boy's performances for the customers that he, along with his colleague and friend Kal Mann, who worked as a songwriter for Cameo-Parkway Records ,  arranged for young Chubby to do a private recording for American Bandstand host Dick Clark. At this recording session Evans got his stage name from Clark's wife, who asked Evans what his name was.