In the early days of the Tamla/Motown coming empire, the first album (LP) released under the Motown logo was Mary Wells' Bye Bye Baby I Don't Want To Take A Chance (Motown MLP 600) in 1961. But with finances an ever-present concern, Berry Gordy et al made an unabashed foray into the Twist craze (even Frank Sinatra got into the act at Capitol with Everybody's Twistin') with their second album, Twistin' The World Around by The Twistin' Kings (Motown MLP 601) that same year.
In reality, The Twistin' Kings were really the label's resident house band, The Funk Brothers, led by pianist Joe Hunter and which, at various times, included saxophonists Ron Wakefield and Thomas "Bean" Bowles, James Jamerson on bass guitar, trombonist Paul Riser, percussionist Eddie "Bongo" Brown, guitarists Joe Messina, Robert White and Eddie Willis, drummers Benny "Papa Zita" Benjamin and Richard "Pistol" Allen, Jack Ashford on tambourine (also percussionist, vibraphonist and marimba player), and pianist Earl Van Dyke who took over from Hunter in 1964. This collection of musicians would have a hand in many of Motown Corporation's biggest hits over the years. There is some suggestion that they also functioned as The Swinging Tigers over on Tamla.
This album, re-issued here in CD format by Hallmark, contains these tracks: 1. Old Folks Twist; 2. White House Twist; 3. Twistin' the World Around; 4. Twist Ala B.G. 5. Flying Circle Twist; 6. Mexican Twist; 7. Congo Twist; 8. Christmas Twist; 9. Twisting Ales Style. Several were written by Berry and Motown's Sales head Barney Ales, which explains tracks 4 and 9. Who the vocalists are is anyone's guess.
There were even two singles released from the LP as by The Twistin' Kings - Xmas Twist/White House Twist (Motown 1022), and Congo - Part 1/Congo - Part 2 (Motown 1023) in November and December 1961 respectively.
Neither single, nor the album, made any impact on the respective charts at the time, but today that original LP is a highly sought after disc. In CD form, a curiosity at best.