♫ In The Still Of The Nite ♫

I bookmarked this one several weeks ago to play, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle.  This song, released in 1956 by the Five Satins, is considered one of the best-known “Doo-Wop” songs ever.  There’s an interesting backstory according to SongFacts …

It was written by group member Fred Parris, who had joined the US Army. As a recruit, he travelled by train between Philadelphia and his home town of New Haven, and it was on these trips that he wrote the song. Soon after it was recorded, he shipped off for Japan, where he was stationed. When it became a hit, he watched from afar as a different permutation of The Five Satins was assembled to tour America – only two of the guys who recorded the song were part of this lineup. Parris wasn’t discharged until 1958; when he returned, he set up a new version of the group and hit the road.

The song was recorded in the basement of St. Bernadette Church in the group’s hometown of New Haven, Connecticut. They first tried recording the song in another New Haven building (on Whalley Avenue), but street noise degraded the recording. The church basement had great acoustics and was insulated from ambient noise, making it a perfect place to record.

The group was managed by Marty Kugell, who distributed their material on his own label, Standord Records (small operations like this were common at the time). His friend Vinny Mazzetta was an altar boy at the church, and Mazzetta convinced the pastor to let the group use the basement on a Sunday afternoon following a church service. They used the church piano along with drums, a guitar, a cello tuned low for the bass sound, and a saxophone, which Mazzetta played.

When they recorded this song, there were only four members of the group, but they called themselves The Five Satins because that was the trend, with groups like The Four Lads and The Four Coins falling out of favor to acts like The Five Crowns and The Five Royales. The lineup was rather fluid, and had a lot to do with who was available, since some of the members were in the military.

The song was spelled as In the Still of the Nite to avoid confusion with Cole Porter’s In the Still of the Night.  The song hit #3 in the U.S., #23 in Canada, and #27 in the UK.

In the Still of the Nite
The Five Satins

In the still of the night
I held you
Held you tight
‘Cause I love
Love you so
Promise I’ll never
Let you go
In the still of the night

I remember
That night in May
The stars were bright above
I’ll hope and I’ll pray
To keep
Your precious love
Well before the light
Hold me again
With all of your might
In the still of the night

So before the light
Hold me again
With all of your might
In the still of the night
In the still of the night

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Fred Parris
In the Still of the Nite lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

19 thoughts on “♫ In The Still Of The Nite ♫

  1. A very old oldie but goodie.
    Have we discussed before the penchant for black singers to hide sexual innuendo in their music? I think this is full of sexual innuendo. In the still of the night really should read in the throes of passion!

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I don’t think we have ever discussed that before. It is? You know I always take words at face value … I’ll have to go back and re-read the lyrics, see if I can figure out what you’re talking about!


      • The old blues standards are full of innuendo. I can’t think of any off the top of my head–no memory today–but in a boo, about the blues almost every song was about sex, but the whites had no idea. Mostly…

        Liked by 1 person

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