Photo: Bill King
Photo: Bill King

A Podcast Conversation With ... Joey Cee

Joey Cee— Back In the Hood!

Joey and I go back some 50 years. Of course, I can’t pinpoint a moment or event, but from the side of my telephoto memory, Mr. Cee was in play.

Passive money circulated the edges of the Toronto entertainment scene. The coin that bought a potential investor a bit of notoriety. Those suits came with a blonde sidearm, a table down the front, Dom Pérignon by the decanter, and hundred-dollar bills flying about. The big spenders. Here, then gone. The wild west of show business. That was the world I half-stepped into when I arrived in 1969. Joey was already at the table.

Sixty years later, on the other side of Annette, Frankie, Jake Scott, Bobby Curtola and parties, Mr. Cee is about to be toasted and roasted at Metalworks Institute. Celebrating 60 years in the music business and other ventures. The Joey Cee Vinyl Vault Ribbon Cutting. June 12, 5-9 PM, 2023.

For 30 years, Joey and I devoted ourselves to protecting the Beaches International Jazz Festival. During the initial stages, we had to ward off baseless criticisms from a council member who saw an opportunity to attack us. The two of us played tag team—the rebuttal boys. Oh, how spirited those exchanges in front of the Toronto City Council played out as the two of us defended and saved our beloved festival.

The festival has passed the glory days, the street scene is smaller, yet the entertainment industry and possibilities still lie ahead.

I cornered Joey for a sit-down FYI podcast, and the chat was easy, revealing, and loaded with city colour. This is where we begin this FYI Thursday—here’s Joey!

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