Joey Dee and the Starliters were one of the most famous music groups formed by Joey Dee. Joey Dee started his career in his hometown Passaic, New Jersey, in the 1940s.
The first and original band Joey Dee formed during his high school was The Thunder Trio. Then eight years later, the group evolved into the Starliters with a new leading singer Roger Freeman joined the group in 1958. In these last eight years, many things happen, and after a few years, Roger Freeman left the group.
First Recording Session
For the first recording session, the Starliters released their first sole on minor label little “Lorraine” (The Girl I Walk to School). Around that time, Joey Dee met David Brigati, the lead singer in Hi-Fives, and recruited him into his group. David Brigati sang one of the group’s earlier singles, “Face of an Angel,” released by Scepter Records.
After Freeman left in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Joey Dee and the Starliters’ lineup consisted of Joey Dee, David Brigati, another singer Larry Vernieri, guitarist Sam Taylor, drummer Willie Davis, and keyboardist Carlton Lattimore.
These five people were the best and most popular in the early 1960s. To see their shows people used to buy tickets weeks before the show, they were very famous. It is worthy to remark that would-be entertainer, well known as Jimi, who was then known as Jimmy James, and Hollywood star Joe Pesci once played guitar in the band. Pesci and Hendrix, as well as other performers, made up the Starliters’ touring organization or known as a group.
In 1960, the Starliters were giving their performance in a nightclub named Oliveri’s, which was at Lodi, New Jersey. A New York-based agent, Don Davis, noticed the performance of Starliters. Starliters were booked for the Peppermint Lounge on the 45th street of New York City. This location was supposed to be nothing much but just anover-the-weekendgig.
The group gave a rocking performance, which became a massive hit. Their rocking performance helped to increase the status of the lounge. Soon, famous celebrities like actress Merle Oberon, John Wayne, prince Serge Oblinski, Nat King Cole, and Jackie Kennedy came into the Peppermint lounge for dancing and enjoyed much of their time here.
The manager of the lounge was happy to see the rising success, so he managed to let The Starliters perform regularly. Joey Dee wrote a song of praise for the lounge, which was their first platform to give them fame. The name of the song of praise was “Peppermint Twist.”
In 1961, the “Peppermint Twist” hit the top 100 songs of that time, and this was the paean who gave them the first gold record. In the same year, the Starliters were also seen in their first movie,‘Hey, Let’s twist.’ In this movie, they produced two soundtrack albums. The name of the first soundtrack album, which contained the singles, was“Hey, Let’s Twist” / “Roly Poly,” and the other was thetitle track “Shout” Part-1”.
The title track “Shout” Part-1,” which was sung in 1961, becomes the band’s second big achievement. It was at the top 10 hits of that time.
From the mids-1960s to mids-1970
The early 1960s were the peak years of Starliters’ success, but the peak years ended near the midst of 1960. Joey Dee didn’t lose hope even after seeing the peak of his carrier, and he continued to record solo singles from the mid of 1960s to the mid of 1970s. As he continued to record solo career during these years, he included his own son in the band Starliters.
Joey Dee had realized the ability of a modern dance craze,“The Twist.” This became one of their onstage dance routines soon. Agent Don Davis sawthe Starliters while performing at a nightclub in Lodi and New Jersey called Oliveri’s. Don Davis booked them at a then-little-known club called the Peppermint Lounge.
Joey Dee Hit Albums
The hit albums of Joey Dee and the Starliters are:
- “Shimmy Baby,” from the album ‘The Peppermint Twisters’
- “These Memories, from the album ‘The Peppermint Twisters’
- Peppermint Twist (part 1) sang by Joey Dee and the Starliters in November 1961. It was from the album ‘Doing the Twist as the Peppermint Lounge.’ Joey Dee and the starters were inspired by New City’s peppermint lounge Club. Joey Dee and Henry Glover wrote it.
- Joey Dee and the Starliters sang ‘Hey, Let’s Twist,’in February 1962, of the album by the same name. It was written by Joey dee, Henry Glover, and Morris Levy.
- Peppermint Part 1 was atits peak on January 26 in1962.
- “Every time (I Think About You),” from the album‘Two Tickets to Paris’
- “What Kind of Love Is This,” from the album ‘Two Tickets to Paris’
- “I Lost My Baby,” from the album Joey Dee
- “The Girl I Walk to School”
- Baby, You’re Driving Me Crazy”
- “Hot Pastrami with Mashed Potatoes”
- “Dance, Dance, Dance,” from the album Dance, Dance, Dance.
- “YaYa,” from the albumDoin’ The Twist at The Peppermint Lounge
- “Getting Nearer
- Cry a Little Sometime
- Feel Good About It
- Dancing on the Beach
- It’s Got You
- Can’t Sit Down
- How Can I Forget
- Roses and Candy Kisses
Members of the Group
There were a total of 5 members of Joey Dee and the Starliters:
1. Joey Dee
Joey Dee, real name Joseph Dinicola, was the leading member of the group, and he was also the founder of the group. Joseph Dinicolawas born on June 11, 1940, in Passaic, New Jersey.
2. David Brigati
David Brigatiwas a lead singer in Joey Dee and the Starliters. He is also an American singer. David Brigati is sometimes also known as “The Fifth Rascal.” David was born in Garfield, in New Jersey, United States, on October 29, 1940.
3. Larry Vernieri
Larry Vernieri was born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 9, 1941. He was a vocal singer in this band.
4. Carlton Lattimore
Carlton Lattimoreused to play theorgan in the band. Carlton Lattimore was born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1939.
5. Willie Davis
Willie Davis was born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1940. He was a drummer in the band.
Other Hits, Movies, and More Touring
The Starliters went on to celebrate a few more hits up to 1963,including“Hey, Let’s Twist.” Also, their cover of the Isley Brothers’“Shout” and “What Kind of Love Is This.” And of course, their last Top 40 single, “Hot Pastrami with Mashed Potatoes.”
Riding on their attention at the juncture, the Starliters also headlined in their movies ‘, Hey, Let’s Twist’ and ‘Two Tickets to Paris.’ In Stockholm, Sweden, the Starliters conducted alongside the Beatles, the enormous band in the northern mainland at that moment.
After the Starliters’ peak years had stopped, Dee began again to record and publish solo singles from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. Apart from his solo career, he still periodically made impressions with his fellow Starliters. Dee has begun again to tour annually in the US as well as in Canada.