Say It’s Your Birthday: Joey Dee

The song was “Peppermint Twist-Part 1,” and it was all
Joey Dee & His Starliters needed to score a #1 hit in the winter of 1961,
instantly transforming them from house band at New York’s Peppermint Lounge
into a piece of rock history. The song, written after Dee observed how much the
crowd at the Peppermint dug dancing to the Chubby Checker hit, “The Twist.”
Joey Dee was born Joseph DiNicola in Passaic, New Jersey on June 11, 1940. The
group’s brush with fame lasted three years. They managed another Top 10 hit
with “Shout-Part 1,” then began the fast slide to obscurity, last seen on the
charts in June 1963 with “Hot Pastrami With Mashed Potatoes-Part 1.”