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New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission
153 Halsey Street - 5th Floor
P.O. Box 47023
Newark, New Jersey 07101

Tel: 973-648-6279
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NJ Film Bulletin Board

'Peppermint Twist' Documentary To Film In NJ

Message: PEPPERMINT TWIST: A Music Documentary Feature Film

Executive Producers: Joey Dee, Steve Kulyk, Rene Sheridan and Gina G. Goff
Director/Producer/Editor: Roger Paradiso

In 1961, Joey Dee took the nation by storm with his number one hit single, Peppermint Twist, and started a dance revolution with The Twist! He is the “Godfather” of The Twist and to this day still performs and has a huge worldwide following.

In 1960, New Jersey born Joey Dee and his Starliters landed their largest gig at a dive bar known as The Peppermint Lounge located in New York’s Theater District, adjacent to Hell’s Kitchen. No one ever imagined that after one rainy night a New York society editor with famous celebrity connections and entourage in tow would come into the nightclub to stay dry, and ended up discovering and writing about a new dance craze…..The Twist. Immediately thereafter, the former bar to sailors, dockworkers, hookers and the mob would turn into a melting pot for the “who’s who” of famous New York society, major A-List Celebrities and Royalty.

After that tabloid article and Joey Dee’s number one hit song Peppermint Twist, Joey and The Twist dance became household names. Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray began offering Twist lessons. There was a Twist Night at The White House. The Twist became an international dance phenomenon and EVERYONE was doing it! After Joey’s hit record, he had numerous other hits, multiple appearances and awarded a Gold Record on American Bandstand by good friend Dick Clark and starred in the Paramount movie, “Hey, Let’s Twist,” with Jo Ann Campbell and Teddy Randazzo.

Joey Dee has a colorful history and insight into the music business, as well as celebrity friendships and collaborations with numerous artists. The Beatles opened for him in Stockholm, Sweden. A few of Joey’s Band members included Jimi Hendrix, actor Joe Pesci, David Brigati, Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers, Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish and Felix Cavaliere (3/4 of the “Young Rascals” group), The Ronettes and many others. Joey Dee’s band was the FIRST integrated Rock N’ Roll Band to record a number one hit.

From Joey’s Peppermint Lounge days, he regularly hung out with Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Truman Capote, Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Sidney Poitier, Debbie Reynolds, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Nat “King” Cole, Shirley MacLaine, Johnny Mathis, Liberace, Miles Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol, Gloria Swanson and Sammy Davis, Jr., to name a few.

Joey’s first paycheck from mob owned Roulette Records for his first hit record Peppermint Twist was a letter stating that he owed them $8,000. “Welcome to the music business!”

He has unlimited stories about how artists really got into the music business in those days, which at one point included him, his mob owned label executive and a couple of hookers driving around to radio stations with envelopes of cash encouragement and an “understanding” that the record would play every hour for a week on their station “or else somebody would get hurt.”

Joey Dee’s story will make an enlightening, historical and entertaining music documentary!