The Voice of New Jersey Doo-Wop Groups, Joel Katz, has been keeping the spirit of the 50’s alive for years, through his work as both a performer and an engineer. He has fronted groups such as the Wizards, the Platinums, the Connotations, Twilight and Ronnie I’s Cliftonaires, and has worked with some of the most iconic names in doo wop, including Johnny Maestro (Crests & Brooklyn Bridge), Bobby Jay (Laddins), and Eugene Pitt (Jive Five), among many others.
In addition to performing with various groups, Joel has worked as a producer, arranger, and engineer, opening his own recording studio, Broadway South, in 1977. As music technology continued to evolve, analog records of old doo wop recordings were being remastered into CD’s—but it was Joel who brought new recordings of doo wop to CD’s.
While Joel has made himself a recognizable name throughout the industry as one of the best voices in doo-wop, his career has been shrouded in anonymity. Due to some confusion crediting Joel & The Dymensions as ‘Santa’s Doo-Wop Helpers’, they had their first radio hit with their cover of “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, without any DJ’s knowing it was they were the vocal group singing. While the song gained popularity, DJ’s playing the track credited Johnny Maestro as the lead.
“Every disc jockey playing it thought Johnny Maestro was singing lead,” remorsed Joel. “It was selling like crazy. I was not happy, as you can imagine. Johnny felt bad for me and started telling people I was the lead. But by that time the damage was done.”
Released by OK!Good Records in 2019, The Best of Joel Katz & the Dymensions is meant to not only highlight the most beloved songs to have been recorded by Joel and his super group, but to showcase Joel and place him in the well-deserved spotlight.
The album features 21 tracks from the original out-of-print Joel & the Dymensions albums, including “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. It included renditions of well-known Doo Wop songs such as “Earth Angel” by The Penguines, “Heart and Soul” by The Cleftones, and “Sixteen Candles” by The Crests, as well as rare songs sought out by collectors.
Joel’s ‘Best of…’ was supported with the release of a limited-edition 7″ vinyl single. Pressed on red-marbled color vinyl the 7″ includes “I Do Love You” (Billy Stewart) and the exclusive B-side track, “Ooh Child” (Five Stairsteps).