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Chubby Checker sings about Dig Dug on unearthed 1980s cassette

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Plenty of video game makers have gone to great lengths to advertise their wares, and back in its early-'80s heyday, Atari went as far as getting Chubby Checker to record a song about Dig Dug, reports The Video Game Preservation Dump.

The track comes from a cassette tape found by Matt Osborne, who put the song on Soundcloud. His father, the late Don Osborne, was the vice president of marketing for Atari's coin-operated games division in the early 1980s, and Matt Osborne wrote in the Atari Museum Facebook group that his father brought the tape home for his children to listen to one day.

"Atari had envisioned a somewhat ['50s-styled] take on the song, inspired, in part, by Chubby Checker's hit 'The Twist,'" he said. As he recalls, Atari planned to use Checker's song in a television commercial for Dig Dug, the arcade game that was developed by Namco and published in the U.S. by Atari in 1982. Checker, of course, became famous for his recording of "The Twist," which became a No. 1 single in 1960 and kicked off an eponymous dance craze.

Atari did produce a 1960s-themed TV spot for Dig Dug that won a Clio Award in 1983. However, the song that aired in the final commercial, which you can watch on YouTube, featured Checker's music but with different vocals. Matt Osborne said he can't remember why Atari didn't use Checker's version of the track, but guessed that Checker "might have appealed to a much older audience and not the one that the commercial was targeted towards."

We've reached out to Checker for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Correction: The story above originally referred to the commercial as being a "1950s-themed TV spot." It should have said "1960s-themed TV spot"; we've edited the story to reflect this.

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