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Joey Dee

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Biography

Joey Dee led the house band at New York's Peppermint Lounge, immortalizing the joint in his 1961 chart-topper "Peppermint Twist." Born Joseph DiNicola in Passaic, NJ, Dee teamed with veteran producer Henry Glover to cut "Peppermint Twist" for Roulette Records, and the huge hit led to a starring role in the film Hey, Let's Twist. Most of Dee's hits, including a supercharged revival of the Isley Brothers hit "Shout" in 1962, were firmly in the Twist mode, although he took a successful stab at a softer sound that year with a Johnny Nash tune, "What Kind of Love Is This." Dee gave several future stars early breaks by welcoming them into the rotating lineup of the Starliters, including the Ronettes, three-quarters of the Young Rascals, and Jimi Hendrix. Dee continued releasing material into the mid-'70s, after which point he remained an active draw on the oldies circuit. ~ Bill Dahl
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