We’ll be screening the movie “Joey” at the 2022 ECMHOF Gala in Atlantic City on June 7. I remember seeing “Joey” in 1986 and still have a VHS of it somewhere but for those who are not familiar with it, here’s a summary. It was produced by Frankie Lanz, who along with Tony DeLauro and Joe Contorno and with help from WCBS-FM’s Norm N. Nite and Joe McCoy, launched the now-legendary Royal New York Doo Wopp shows at The Beacon Theatre in 1978 and, later, Radio City Music Hall. The East Coast Music Hall of Fame will honor Contorno, Lanz and DeLauro with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to our music.
I grew up in Philly so I couldn’t make all of the Royal New York Doo Wopp concerts but I have fond memories of the ones I did attend. Here’s a flyer of a 1980 one at the Beacon. At intermission, I snuck backstage and hung out with Sonny Til & the Orioles in their dressing room. But I digress.
The plot of “Joey” revolves around a talented teenager who has conflicts with his hard drinking father, who is a working class former musician. The kid runs away from home to start his own musical career. The movie has appearances by Frankie Lanz, Norm N. Nite and many others. It contains great footage of performances by the Ad Libs, Vito Picone & Elegants, the Teenagers, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the Limelights, the Silhouettes and Vito Balsamo Group. If I remember correctly, the performances were from the Royal NY Doo Wopp shows but I could be wrong.
“Joey” will screen from 12:30 – 2 PM in the Pioneers Honors Room. Just show your Premier Medallion Wristband to get in. Come early to get a good seat. Wristbands can be purchased through the ECMHOF website, https://ecmhofa.com/