Meeting childhood hero brings back days of ‘Peppermint Twist’

May 03, 2021 93

BY: Roy Peter Clark

I sit in a small music studio in Clearwater — overjoyed — talking with one of my rock ‘n’ roll heroes. He is Joey Dee, leader of a dynamic dance band called the Starliters. In 1961 he stood near the top of the music world.

He had a number one hit, Peppermint Twist, and starred in a movie about the dance sensation that was sweeping the nation. He toured America (including the South) with a mixed-race band, and in Stockholm shared top billing with a band called the Beatles.

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