Buffalo Twist Ban Of 1962: Not In My Town, Says Bishop Buzzkill

By Jacob Shelton
Left: Pinup June Wilkinson on the poster of the 1961 movie 'Twist All Night.' Right: Twist dance instructions on the back of a record sleeve. Sources: wrongsideoftheart.com; discogs.com

Was there any stopping the kids from doing the Twist in 1962? A Catholic bishop in Buffalo, New York felt obliged to try. When kids started doing the Twist in the early ‘60s it was a thing of national concern. Coming out of the Peppermint Lounge, the dance made its way through suburbia thanks to Chubby Checker, Dick Clark and American Bandstand. Teens saw the kids on the show doing the dance and from there it was an overnight sensation. Parents, doctors, and religious figures came up with every reason that they could to keep kids from doing the Twist - it was bad for your hips, bad for your knees, and would drive teens to mad fits of sexual intercourse. In 1962 Bishop Joseph A. Burke of Buffalo, New York, set his pen to paper and tried to stop the salacious dance once and for all. 

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