In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins song)

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"In the Still of the Nite"
Single by The Five Satins
B-side "The Jones Girl"
Released 1956
Format 7" single
Recorded Saint Bernadette Catholic School
Genre Doo-wop, traditional pop
Length 3:02
Label Standord, Ember
Songwriter(s) Fred Parris
Producer(s) Marty Kugell

"In the Still of the Night", also subsequently titled "In the Still of the Nite", is a song written by Fred Parris and recorded by his Five Satins. While only a moderate hit when first released (peaking at #24 on the national pop charts), it has received considerable airplay over the years and is notable as one of the best known doo-wop songs, recorded by artists such as Boyz II Men and Debbie Gibson. It is heard in several films, such as The Buddy Holly Story and Dirty Dancing.


The song was recorded in the Saint Bernadette Catholic School basement in New Haven, Connecticut, in February, 1956. Marty Kugell produced the song. The saxophone solo was played by Vinny Mazzetta, of New Haven.The rhythm section was Doug Murray, bass, Bobby Mapp, drums and Curlee Glover, piano. It was originally released as a B-side (to "The Jones Girl", a play on the Mills Brothers' 1954 hit, "The Jones Boy") on Kugell's Standard Records label. Although the single was only a moderate hit (after it was reissued on the Ember label), peaking at #24 on the national pop charts and #3 on the R&B "race" charts (Billboard's chart designation for R&B during that time), its reputation came to surpass its original chart placement. For three decades, the single almost always topped the influential Top 500 Songs countdown on oldies radio station WCBS-FM. The track sold over 10 million copies in 1987 and 1988 as part of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. In April 2010, the song ranked #90 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[1] (The song was included on the highly influential 1959 LP Oldies But Goodies on Original Sound.)

"In the Still of the Night" is the only song to have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times, by the same artist with the same version each time. After initially reaching #24 in 1956, it was released again in 1960 and reached #81. Then more than a year later in 1961 it reached #99.

"In the Still of the Night" is one of two songs that may lay claim to being the origin of the term doo-wop. The plaintive doo wop, doo wah refrain in the bridge has often been suggested as the origin of the term to describe that musical genre. (The other contender for the honor is "When You Dance" by the Turbans, in which the chant "doo-wop" can be heard.)

Cover versions[edit]

The original recording briefly hit the charts again in 1960 and 1961; an instrumental version by Santo & Johnny charted in 1964, and a version from the album Exitos De Paul Anka by Paul Anka did likewise in 1969. None of these releases reached the top half of the Billboard Hot 100, however.

The Crests recorded a version titled "I Remember" for their 1960 album The Crests Sing All Biggies on Coed Records.

The Fleetwoods released a version of the song on their 1961 album The Fleetwoods Sing the Best Goodies of the Oldies.

The Tokens released a version in 1961.

Dion DiMucci released a version on his 1961 album Runaround Sue

Deborah Gibson recorded the song transposed to C major during her Atlantic-years concert tours and recorded the same arrangement for the Atlantic soundtrack album The Wonder Years - Music from the Emmy Award-Winning Show and its Era (LP 82032).

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 Five Satins rock and roll standard is at times also spelled in that manner. The song was also used in the Disney attraction The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management).

The song was recorded by Jan & Dean as a single in 1968 and was planned to be released on their album Carnival of Sound that same year. Carnival of Sound was not released until 2010.

In 1972, Sha Na Na recorded a version faithful to the original on their album The Night Is Still Young, with Johnny Contardo singing lead.

"In the Still of the Night" was also recorded by the Beach Boys on their 1976 album 15 Big Ones. Lead vocals were by drummer Dennis Wilson.

Songwriters Mike Reid and Troy Seals incorporated the song in the 1985 song "Lost in the Fifties Tonight (In the Still of the Night)", performed by Ronnie Milsap. Milsap's song was a number one country hit that year.[2]

Boyz II Men version[edit]

"In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)"
In the still of the nite.jpg
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album The Jacksons: An American Dream Original Soundtrack and Cooleyhighharmony (1993 re-issue)
B-side "Snippets from 'An American Dream'"
Released October 13, 1992 (airplay)
November 10, 1992
Format CD, CD maxi, 7" single
Recorded 1992
Genre A cappella, doo-wop
Length 2:51
Label Motown
Songwriter(s) F. Parris
Producer(s) Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"End of the Road"
"In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)"
"Let It Snow"

"End of the Road"
"In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)"
"Let It Snow"

Boyz II Men recorded an a cappella arrangement (a full step below the original version, in E) of the song for the soundtrack to the television miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. This version reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot 100 Singles Sales on January 16, 1993 and February 6, 1993, respectively. It also reached #2 on the Hot 100 Airplay on December 12, 1992. It was later added to the 1993 re-release of their album Cooleyhighharmony.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)" (LP version) — 2:51
  2. "Snippets from 'An American Dream'" by The Jacksons
CD maxi
  1. "In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)" (LP version) — 2:51
  2. "Snippets from 'An American Dream'" by The Jacksons
  3. "Medley" ("I Want You Back" (live) / "ABC" (live)) by The Jacksons


Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[3] 11
French SNEP Singles Chart[3] 24
German Singles Chart[4] 69
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 3
U.S. Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[5] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[5] 11
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles[5] 4

End of year charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[6] 19
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 12


  1. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ Paul Kingsbury (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. p. 349. 
  3. ^ a b "In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)", in various singles charts (Retrieved April 2, 2008)
  4. ^ German Singles Chart Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved April 2, 2008)
  5. ^ a b c d Billboard (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  6. ^ "End of Year Charts 1993". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 

External links[edit]