In 1961, a Times Square gay bar called the Peppermint Lounge became the epicenter of a new dance craze called the Twist. In 1960, then again in 1962, Chubby Checker’s song “The Twist” shot to number one on the singles chart. Celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy and Norman Mailer packed the small dance floor. Joey Dee and the Starliters (with future Young Rascals Gene Cornish and Felix Cavaliere) served as the house band and in 1961 recorded the song “The Peppermint Twist.” The pre-“Be My Baby” Ronettes were the stage dancers. The club lost its liquor license and closed in 1965 but operated in the late ’70s and early ’80s under other names.
- Historic Sites & Landmarks