The Five Satins

The Five Satins were led by Fred Parris, and in the mid-50's they came up with a classic doo-wop standard, In The Still Of The Nite.

Fred Parris was born in 1936 and joined a group called the Scarletts, for which he became lead singer, in about 1954. He joined the Army and one night while on guard duty, he composed his song In The Still Of The Nite. Back home in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1956, he formed a vocal group along with Wes Forbes, Lewis Peeples, Rich Freeman and Sy Hopkins. They called themselves the Five Satins and recorded In The Still Of The Nite in the basement of their local church, St. Bernadette's. It was first released on the Standord label, and later by Ember. The song entered the top forty later that year, peaking at number 24. While it was on the charts, Fred Parris was stationed in Japan with the Army. The group re-formed with a different lineup, this time featuring Bill Baker as lead singer along with Eddie Martin, Jim Freeman, Al Denby, and Jessie Murphy on piano. Recording on the same Ember label as the original lineup, the group released To The Aisle in 1957 with Baker on lead and it became the only other top forty song for the Five Satins. Several members of the Five Satins had graduated from Hillhouse High in New Haven. Parris replaced Baker on his return from the Army in January, 1958.

The Five Satins' In The Still Of The Nite returned to the charts in 1960 and in 1961, and there were three other recordings of the song that were made by other groups. The Five Satins had some other minor hits on Ember, but as doo-wop went out of style in the early 60's, the group split up.

In 1969 Fred Parris re-formed the group with a new cast and hit the oldies circuit. This group appeared in the 1973 film that revived 50's rock-and-roll, Let The Good Times Roll. They continued to make occasional appearances. In 1982 they recorded a medley Memories Of Days Gone By that made the charts; in addition to In The Still Of The Nite, it included parts of songs that had been hits for other groups such as Tears On My Pillow, Only You, and Earth Angel.

In The Still Of The Nite continues to be a much-requested song on oldies stations throughout the country, and has sold millions of copies over the years since Fred Parris wrote it while on guard duty in the Army in 1956.

Most Recent Update: April 20, 2000

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