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Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker brings his timeless "Twist" to Albany's River Rhythms this summer, with a July 11 performance at Monteith Riverpark, on the banks of the Willamette River.

The city of Albany has finalized its lineup for its free Thursday night summertime concert series, River Rhythms.

On Thursday afternoon, the city announced that iconic early rock ’n’ roller Chubby Checker would perform on July 11 at Monteith Riverpark, on the banks of the Willamette River.

“I have to tell you, the first record I ever bought in my life was ‘The Twist.’ I was in the first grade,” said Marilyn Smith, city spokeswoman.

Other artists set to perform in the summertime series are Tracy Byrd, Sugar Ray, Baha Men and the Fab Four.

Smith said that the artists scheduled to play at River Rhythms have a wide appeal for mid-Willamette Valley residents.

“That’s always the goal. A little bit of everything,” she added.

Baha Men, famous for “Who Let the Dogs Out,” are set to perform on July 4, with Independence Day fireworks slated for after the show.

No concert is scheduled for July 18 due to the Linn County Fair.

On July 25, the Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band, are scheduled to play.

Sugar Ray, known for 1990s alt-pop hits such as “Fly” and “Every Morning,” is set to play on Aug. 1.

Smith said that country musician Tracy Byrd might draw the biggest crowd to Monteith Riverpark this year, and he’s set to perform on Aug. 8. Byrd has more than 30 hit singles on the country charts.

Checker has had several hits, including “The Fly,” “Pony Time,” and “Limbo Rock,” all dance-focused numbers.

But of course he’s best known for “The Twist,” which Billboard named the biggest chart hit of all time in 2008. “The Twist,” which sparked the dance craze of the same name, hit No. 1 twice in two different runs, the only rock song to do so.

River Rhythms concerts start at 7 p.m., but Monteith Riverpark, 489 Water Ave. NW, opens to the public earlier. Residents can put down chairs and blankets after 6 a.m. on concert days.

Though the concerts are free, donations are encouraged.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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