Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joey Dee and the Starlighters

Joey Dee and the Starlighters
What another group from New Jersey ? I'm starting to believe  my Jersey and Philly pals. There was a ton of early rock coming out of that area. Maybe Philly would have been a good place for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

During my years at Memphis State the sounds of Joey D. and the Starlighters pounded the student union walls. For some reason whoever was in charge of the music felt we should hear Joey and crew several times a week usually around 8 a.m.

"Peppermint Twist", the Isley Brother's "Shout" and lots more coming from the coffee shop's big speakers. How was I supposed to get ready for my next class ? The music put you in a party mood no matter what time of day. Joey D. and his Starlighters elevated my mood after many a tough night shift. I will always remember them for that.

Joey Dee and the Starlighters

As a fan I had no clue who was in the band. I just knew they were good and fun to hear. During today's little research session I learned there were folks in the band who we would hear about later. For instance there were guitar players Jimi Hendrix and Joe Pesci. The Ronettes were the back up singers and dancers. Three fourths of the Young Rascals honed their skills working in this band. Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers was in there as well. In 1963, they toured Europe. The opening act was an already hot European band called the Beatles. 

Joey Dee and the Starlighters

In 1962, this band was so hot with two albums going gold that Hollywood came calling. The movie "Hey Let's Twist" was actually about their lives. They appeared in it as well. The next year a second movie called them and they did "Two Tickets to Paris".

This band was white hot for a year or two then as we see all too often, disintegration. From hero to zero in a matter of a very few years. They had been booked into New York's Peppermint Lounge for a weekend gig. As it turned out some big wigs happened to be there and had a good time dancing. Some newspaper gossip columnist ( arn't most columnist gossips) saw the swells having fun and decided to announce The Peppermint Lounge was the hip place to be. The boys were held over for over a year. Huge rope lines were their from the second night through the rest of the gig. They made that joint a hell of a lot of money.

Joey Dee and the Starlighters

Joey Dee and the Starlighters are not in the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

They are now included in this the only Hall of Fame that counts:


          The Fan's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame !

To Joey and the guys...thanks for cheering me up on a lot of tough mornings.

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