Thursday, July 01, 2010

Joey Dee & The Starliters - Hey Let's Twist!: The Best of Joey Dee and the Starliters

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.

Hey Let's Twist!: The Best of Joey Dee and the Starliters

While Joey Dee is generally looked upon as the quaint bearer of the twist to a mass audience (clean covers of R&B tunes palatable to White audiences), the truth is that Dee had a racially integrated band (in 1961, no less) that not only delivered the goods, but put some high voltage energy into the tunes as well. Although this 18-track compilation brings together all the chart hits ("Peppermint Twist," "Shout," "Everytime," "What Kind Of Love Is This," "I Lost My Baby," "Dance, Dance, Dance") from Dee and the Starliters' brief run for the gold, it omits several barnburning covers from the second live album, and opts for the edited 'Part One' version of "Shout," as opposed to the six-minute-plus workout that's on the Doin' the Twist album. That said, it's still a wonderful introduction to the music of this seldom-lauded rock & roll pioneer.

1. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 01-Peppermint Twist (Part1) (2:01)

2. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 02-Peppermint Twist (Part 2) (1:55)

3. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 03-Hey, Let's Twist (2:02)

4. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 04-Roly Poly (2:07)

5. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 05-Joey's Blues (2:21)

6. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 06-Shout (Part 1) (2:36)

7. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 07-Irresistible You (2:18)

8. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 08-Crazy Love (1:59)

9. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 09-Everytime (Part 1) (3:55)

10. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 10-What Kind Of Love Is This (2:11)

11. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 11-I Lost My Baby (2:27)

12. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 12-Keep Your Mind On What You're Doing (2:00)

13. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 13-Help Me Pick Up The Pieces (2:24)

14. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 14-Baby, You're Driving Me Crazy (2:22)

15. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 15-Mashed Potatoes (4:49)

16. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 16-Dance, Dance, Dance (2:04)

17. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 17-Ya-Ya (3:50)

18. Joey Dee & The Starliters - 18-Fanny Mae (3:52)


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  2. I met Joey while doing PM drive at WWWD in Schenectady (I was Mike Harres there). He was doing a show at one of our areas larger venues (Starlight Theater, Latham?) and was a guest with me on the air for about 3 hours in 1985. I wanted to mention that Joey is an absolute genuine great person. He was sincere, funny and even Dj'd some of the songs. Great Memories & thanks for this album. There are a few things on it I didn't have in my library. Keep Up the great work.


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