This song is a doo wop classic. Sometimes you have a great time and you want to sing about it. “Oh What a Nite” was just that kind of evening for The Dells, from Harvey, Illinois, and some young ladies. The beautiful vocals show the talent that stayed with them through several decades in the business. “Oh What a Nite,” written by Marvin Junior and Johnny Funches, was released in 1956 and went to #4 on the R&B Chart and sold more than one million copies, which earned them an RIAA gold record. (The Dells re-recorded the song as “Oh What A Night” in 1969 with a different arrangement, with a soul sound, and it peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Best Selling Soul Singles Chart.)
The original group members — and those for “Oh What a Nite” — were Johnny Funches, Verne Allison, Mickey McGill, Marvin Junior, and Chuck Barksdale. The group sang together while in high school together and formed in 1952 under the name the El-Rays. They sang jazz but became interested in R&B. By 1955, they had renamed themselves as The Dells in and signed with Vee-Jay Records. The Dells are among the longest-running groups in music history, as they recorded and performed for 50 years. In 2004, The Dells were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.