The group was booked at an obscure venue on 45th Street in New York City called the Peppermint Lounge®, for what was supposed to be a one-time weekend gig, which lasted 13 months. It sold several million copies, and was awarded a Also in 1961, Joey Dee & The Starliters® filmed the movie “Hey, Let’s Twist“, with Jo Ann Campbell and Teddy Randazzo, for Paramount Pictures.
While performing at the Peppermint Lounge®, Joey Dee & The Starliters® attracted the following celebrities, Merle Oberon and Prince Serge who actually danced the Peppermint Twist® with the regular audience that was in attendance that night. Hey, Let’s Twist was a fictional story of Joey Dee (Randazzo and Dino Di Luca played the parts of Joey’s brother and father, respectively) and the Peppermint Lounge®; its release capitalized on the current twist craze and made the once-obscure Lounge famous.
The Twisters girls spray painted their stiletto shoes to glow under the One night in 1961, a trio of pretty teenagers were waiting in line and eventually got inside the nightclub.
During the break in the show, Ronnie Bennett asked Joey Dee if she and the other girls could perform with Joey on stage.
David, Rogers and Joey would subsequently share lead vocal honors for the Starliters, with Joey ultimately becoming the primary lead singer.
Another early single for the group was “Face of an Angel,” with David as lead vocalist, released on Scepter Records; the flipside was “Shimmy Baby.”, sung by Rogers Freeman.
Various members of the Starliters, such as vocalist Rogers Freeman and organist Bill Callanan performed with Joey Dee during the next few years.
In 1963, Joey Dee recorded an album entitled Dance, Dance, Dance, with The Ronettes as his backup group. Roulette later released “Ya Ya” and “Fannie Mae” from the same album.When Hugh Hefner came to the Peppermint Lounge®, the Playboy Bunny costume was similarly designed and worn.The Peppermint Twisters were also the first to use Strobe Lighting and Black Lights.“With Joey Dee, Hendrix got to savor the Twist craze right up close….It was like Joey Dee was a high priest, a messenger bringing a sacred message to all.“I had sound equipment in the garage, and he plugged his guitar into an proved himself such an accomplished showman, that Joey Dee began giving him solos on stage, during which he’d do splits or play his guitar behind his back or with his teeth.Playing for a year with Joey Dee & The Starliters® had a lasting impact on Hendrix.Felix remembers joining The Starliters very quickly and was on a plane to Europe, where Joey Dee was touring in support of his worldwide number one hit single, “Peppermint Twist®.” “With Joey Dee, I got a taste of what it was like to be a professional musician, and I guess I got stung by it,” says Cavaliere, who did two European tours with the Starliters, as well as a year in the Starliters house-band at Joey Dee’s Manhattan nightclub.“That’s when things really began picking up for me.”Early in 1965, Felix Cavaliere left The Starliters and formed the “Young Rascals” (Rascals) band with former Starliter’s Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish, which was three-quarters of their new band.Right there Hendrix witnessed the power of word and music….The Twist included all ages and all kinds of people, and it was not necessarily youth-oriented.