Joey Dee & The Starliters
“Peppermint Twist”

In 1960, The Joey Dee & Starliters were discovered while performing at a New Jersey nightclub. The group was booked at an intimate venue on 45th Street in New York City called the "Peppermint Lounge" for what was supposed to be a one-time weekend gig. Their initial appearance at the club found famous people dancing at the Peppermint Lounge. By the next morning, with stories by columnists Earl Wilson and Cholly Knickerbocker, it took barricades and mounted police to keep the crowds in line, which had backed up to Broadway, the next night. For several months, the craze would continue at the Lounge. Joey Dee & The Starliters made such a smash that they ended up becoming the house band for the Peppermint Lounge, remaining onboard for more than a year. Joey penned "The Peppermint Twist," along with producer Henry Glover, as a tribute to the lounge and the group took the song all the way to the top spot on the U.S. charts in early 1962. The Lounge became world famous during The Starliters' tenure, attracting celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy, Truman Capote, and Judy Garland.

Also in 1961, Joey Dee and The Starliters filmed the movie "Hey, Let's Twist", for Paramount Pictures a fictional portrait of Joey Dee and the Peppermint Lounge; its release capitalized on the current Twist craze and brought the once-obscure Lounge into the forefront. The movie and soundtrack album did their part in making the Peppermint Lounge a world-famous venue.  In November of 1963, The Starliters toured Europe with The Beatles as their opening act. Today, they still travel all over the country, still Twisting, and, still the great show that they were back in the 1960’s—just a few years older!

 

 
   
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