46) Chubby Checker – “Pony Time”

 Chubby Checker’s second and final #1 is essentially a redux of “The Twist,” but with a new set of lyrics corresponding to yet another dance craze.  What’s baffling is that “Pony Time” and “The Twist” weren’t even written by the same people, despite boasting the same tune and the same conceptual base (“let’s dance to the eponymous dance, which I will now explain for you in the lyrics”).  Checker, always likeable, does a fine job with the material, but the problem’s the same as that of “The Twist”: it’s fun enough on the dancefloor, but musically it amounts to little more than a square dance caller’s directions formatted as 12-bar blues.  Checker carved himself out a niche for these types of dance craze instructionals, with other hits including “The Hucklebuck,” “The Fly,” “Limbo Rock,”  as well as “Let’s Twist Again,” “Slow Twistin’,” etc.  “Pony Time”‘s distinguishing feature is its endearingly goofy lyrics: “Turn to the left when I say ‘gee’! Now turn to the right when I say ‘haw’! Now ‘gee’! Now ‘haw’!” (I’m pretty sure those directions pertain more to work horses than to ponies, but this ain’t hippology! It’s rock and roll!).  So what does this amount to? A perfectly harmless song whose decline in relevance corresponds almost perfectly to the end of the eponymous fad. 5

Hit #1 on February 27, 1961; total of 3 weeks at #1
46 of 967 #1’s reviewed; 4.76% through the Hot 100

1 Comment

Filed under 05, 1961

One response to “46) Chubby Checker – “Pony Time”

  1. GeorgeL

    Not a huge fan of Checker’s hits. They tend to wear thin after a few listens. My favorite record he did was “Slow Twistin” with Dee Dee Sharp – now that record had some soul to it.

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