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

"In the Still of the Nite",[1] also subsequently titled "In the Still of the Night", is a song written by Fred Parris and recorded by his Five Satins. While only a moderate hit when first released (peaking at No. 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, and more recently in the 2019 crime film The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese.

"In the Still of the Night"
Single by The Five Satins
B-side"The Jones Girl"
Released1956
Format7" single
RecordedSaint Bernadette Catholic School
GenreDoo-wop, traditional pop
Length3:02
LabelStandord, Ember
Songwriter(s)Fred Parris
Producer(s)Marty Kugell

The Five Satins' original version was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)[2]—and ranked No. 90 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[3]

Background

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 on Kugell's Standord label with the B-side "The Jones Girl", a play on the Mills Brothers' 1954 hit, "The Jones Boy". Although the single was only a moderate hit after it was reissued on the Ember label, peaking at No. 24 on the national pop charts and No. 3 on the R&B "race" charts (Billboard's chart designation for R&B at the 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. The song was included on the highly influential 1959 LP Oldies But Goodies on Original Sound.

"In the Still of the Nite" 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 No. 24 in 1956, it was released again in 1960 and reached No. 81. Then more than a year later in 1961 it reached No. 99.

"In the Still of the Nite" 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.)

Boyz II Men version

"In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)"
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'"
ReleasedOctober 13, 1992 (airplay)
November 10, 1992
FormatCD, CD maxi, 7" single
Recorded1992
GenreA cappella, doo-wop
Length2:51
LabelMotown
Songwriter(s)F. Parris
Producer(s)Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"End of the Road"
(1992)
"In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)"
(1992)
"Let It Snow"
(1993)

Boyz II Men recorded an a cappella arrangement (a half 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 No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on January 16, 1993. It also debuted at No. 1 in New Zealand—becoming the band's second chart-topper there—and charted strongly in Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. It was later added to the 1993 re-release of their album Cooleyhighharmony.

Track listings

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

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1992–1993) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[4] 11
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 23
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[6] 7
France (SNEP)[7] 24
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 69
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 27
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 3
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[11] 11
US Billboard Hot R&B Singles[11] 4
US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[11] 3

Year-end charts

Chart (1993) Position
Australia (ARIA)[12] 63
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[13] 48
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 12

Certifications

Region CertificationCertified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[16] Gold 5,000*
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions

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 (In The Still of the Night)" 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.

Debbie 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 Nite" 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.[18]

References

  1. "The Five Satins - In The Still Of The Nite / The Jones Girl - Standord - USA - XEP-200". 45cat. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  2. Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved March 16, 2019 via robertchristgau.com.
  3. "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  4. "Australian-charts.com – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  5. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1835." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  6. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 1793." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  7. "Lescharts.com – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  8. "Offiziellecharts.de – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  9. "Charts.nz – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  10. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  11. Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  12. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  13. "The RPM Top 100 A\C Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  14. "End of Year Charts 1993". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  15. "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  16. "New Zealand single certifications – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Night". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  17. "American single certifications – Boyz II Men – In the Still of the Nite". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 22, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. Paul Kingsbury (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. p. 349.
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