Doo Wop Classics
The Five Satins formed in the mid-1950s. “In the Still of the Night” aka “In the Still of the Nite” was written by group member and leader Fred Parris. There had been the popular song from 1932 by Hoagy Carmichael titled “In the Still of the Night” as well as the 1937 one by Cole Porter. But those are different. Anyway, The Five Satins recorded their song with that title in the Saint Bernadette Church Hall in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1956, while Parris was on leave from the U.S. Army. Other members on the recording were Al Denby, Jim Freeman, and Ed Martin. It was first released on Standord and then Ember Records. It is a doo wop classic, and the words “doo wop” appear as part of the refrain in the bridge.
The song has been a perennial oldies favorite, with the distinction of being successful on the charts three times by the same artist with the same version. The first time around, in 1956, it peaked at #24 on the Pop Singles Charts and #3 on the R&B Chart. Parris was stationed in Japan when it became a hit, and the group reformed with Bill Baker on lead to support the song. It was then re-released in at the end 1959 and end of 1960, and both times charted within the top 100. The song has sold more than one million copies and received an RIAA gold record. The 1987 film Dirty Dancing featured the song.
There have been numerous covers of the song, including versions by The Fleetwoods, the Tokens, a Santo & Johnny instrumental, Jan & Dean, Sha Na Na, The Beach Boys, and Boyz II Men.