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."