Oh, What a Night (The Dells song)

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"Oh, What a Night"
Single by The Dells
from the album Love Is Blue
B-side "Believe Me"
Released August 1969
Format 7" single
Recorded 1969
Genre Doo-wop,[1] soul
Length 6:09
Label Cadet Records
Songwriter(s) Marvin Junior, Johnny Funches
Producer(s) Bobby Miller
The Dells singles chronology
"I Can't Do Enough"
"Oh, What a Night"
"On the Dock of the Bay"
"I Can't Do Enough"
"Oh, What a Night"
"On the Dock of the Bay"

"Oh, What a Night" is a song first recorded by the doo-wop group the Dells[1] and released in 1956, originally under the title "Oh What a Nite". The song is said to have been inspired by a party, which had been held in the Dells' honor by some female friends of the group.[2]


The Dells' original recording on the Vee Jay label peaked at number four on the R&B singles chart. In 1969, they refashioned it as a soul song on the Cadet label. The new "Oh, What a Night" was notably different from its original counterpart with an altered arrangement and tempo, and included a spoken recitation, in the introduction, from the bass member of the group. This new version reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one on the Best Selling Soul singles chart.[3]

The 1969 version was ranked #260 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[4]

"Oh, What a Night" has been covered by Sly Stone & the Biscaynes (1978), Tracey Ullman (1983), Lester Bowie (1986), the Moonlighters (1988), Nick Kamen (1988), Barbara Jones (1995), Donnie & the Del Chords (1999), Unisoghn (2001) and John Barrowman (2010).


1950s version[edit]

  • Lead vocals by Johnny Funches and Marvin Junior
  • Background vocals by Johnny Funches, Marvin Junior, Michael McGill, Chuck Barksdale and Verne Allison

1960s version[edit]

  • Lead vocals by Junior Marvin (Marvin Junior) and Johnny Carter
  • Background vocals by Johnny Carter, Michael McGill, Chuck Barksdale and Verne Allison
  • Spoken intro by Chuck Barksdale
  • Produced by Bobby Miller


  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 11 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Early rock 'n' roll vocal groups & Frank Zappa" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.  Track 5.
  2. ^ The Dells
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 154. 
  4. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Share Your Love with Me" by Aretha Franklin
Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles number-one single
September 27, 1969
Succeeded by
"I Can't Get Next to You" by The Temptations