From the Out of My Fever Dreams Department comes a recently-unearthed copy of Chubby Checker — yes, the guy who sang The Twist — singing a song about Dig Dug.
This cassette tape was recently unearthed by Matt Osborne, son of former Atari vice president Don Osborne, who unfortunately passed away in 1983. The song itself was technically used in a commercial, but without Checker. Why this recording exists — and why his vocals weren’t used in the final product — are unfortunately lost to history.
My father, Don Osborne, was Vice President of ATARI at the time and he brought this home one day for us to listen to. I’m not sure how I actually ended up with it, but he may have lent it to me and I just never gave it back or he never asked for it to be returned. The only info that I have about it was that ATARI had envisioned a somewhat ‘50’s styled take on the song, inspired, in part, by Chubby Checker’s hit “The Twist.” At the time that I’d heard the song and had got possession of the tape, it was fully intended that Chubby’s song would be used in the final commercial. It’s been over 30 years, that and I was about 13 at the time, so details are fuzzy, but I remember my father being extra excited that Chubby was involved in the project and had great things to say about having met him. After that, I don’t recall why his sone was eventually dropped in leu of the one in the final cut of the commercial. The only thing that makes sense is that Chubby might have appealed to a much older audience and not the one that the commercial was targeted towards, so they eventually choose a younger representation for the band singing the song. Still, try going online and digging up any history, or even a mention of Chubby’s involvement, and you will find very little. I’d love to know more myself, so please share if you find anything out.