The Five Satins
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|The Five Satins|
Fred Parris in 2007
|Origin||New Haven, Connecticut, United States|
|Past members||Lou Peebles
The group, formed in New Haven, Connecticut, consisted of leader Fred Parris, Lou Peebles, Stanley Dortch, Ed Martin and Jim Freeman and Nat Mosley in 1954. With little success, the group reorganized, with Dortch and Peebles leaving, and new member Al Denby entering. The group then recorded "In the Still of the Night", a very big hit in the United States which was originally released as the B-side to the single, "The Jones Girl". The single was initially issued on the tiny local "Standord" label and after some local Connecticut sales, it was released the following year on the New York label "Ember", and "In the Still of the Night" ended up charting at number three on the R&B chart and number 25 on the pop charts. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Parris entered the Army soon after, and the group reorganized again, with Martin, Freeman, Tommy Killebrew, Jessie Murphy and new lead Bill Baker. This lineup hit with another highly successful song, Billy Dawn Smith's "To the Aisle".
Upon Parris' return from the Army, a new lineup was assembled, consisting of Parris, Lou Peebles (who was in a previous incarnation of the Five Satins), Sylvester Hopkins, Richie Freeman and Wes Forbes. The group would be briefly known as "Fred Parris and the Scarlets", until the Baker-led group split up. At this point, they reverted to the Five Satins name, but had little success on the charts.
By the early 1970s the group was Parris, Peebles, Richie Freeman, Jimmy Curtis and Corky Rogers, and they continued recording into the 1980s, with Parris, Richie Freeman, Curtis and Nate Marshall. Meanwhile, Bill Baker started his own Five Satins group in 1981, with former Satin Sylvester Hopkins and Hopkins' brothers Arthur "Count" Hopkins, Sr. and Frank. By the late 1980s, this group consisted of Baker, Harvey Potts, Jr., Anthony Hofler and Octavio DeLeon. In 1990, the group was joined by Jimmie Wilson stepping into the first tenor position for Don Simpson.
Fred Parris and Richie Freeman continue to perform. Bill Baker died in 1994.
Awards and recognition
In 2003, the Five Satins were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
One of the original members of the Five Satins now works in the cafeteria at the University of New Haven. Jim Freeman lives in Norwalk, Iowa and owns a pest control company. Wes Forbes is a psychologist in the State of California, currently employed with Alliant International University as a Training Director. Richie Freeman is the house sound engineer at NY's famed Iridium jazz club.
Fred Parris and Richie Freeman are still actively performing occasionally with the Five Satins. The lineup now also includes Eugene Dobbs, originally the lead singer and founder of Nu-Cullers and Nadina Perry.
They are supported by musicians Pat Marafiote (keyboards and MD), Greg Borino (guitar), Jerry Langley (bass) and James Moore (drums).
The group performs regularly throughout the Northeast and they continue to actively record new material.
|1956||"In the Still of the Night"||24||3|
|1957||"To the Aisle"||25||5|
|1960||"I'll Be Seeing You"||22||14|
|1961||"In the Still of the Night/I'll Remember"||99||—|
|1982||"Memories of Days Gone By"A||71||—|
- A"Memories of Days Gone By" Also Peaked at #32 on Adult Contemporary Singles.