This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #108: In The Still of the Night by The Five Satins.
“In The Still of the Night” by The Five Satins is one of the best loved and most famous “Doo Wop” songs of all-time. A “Doo Wop” song is one that is based on singing and, in particular, on harmonies. In the case of “In The Still of the Night”, the song was written by a man named Fred Parris. Parris had a deep, rich voice. He sang lead vocals and, as such, he sang all of the verses and the chorus. He was backed by four back-up singers whose job it was to harmonize on the off-beats, usually using sounds (as opposed to real words). The overall effect was that the voices of the back-up singers would act like a traditional rhythm section would, as if instruments were being used.
“In The Still of the Night” was written in the mid-1950s by Parris. The song is about his desire for a girl and his hope that, even though he is going away, she will wait for him and they will reunite upon his return. Until that time, the memory of their last night together will have to help tide him over. Unfortunately for Parris, not long after recording “In The Still of the NIght”, he shipped out on active duty with the US Army. It was while stationed overseas that “In The Still of the Night” began receiving modest radio airplay. In an effort to capitalize on the attention the song was getting, a new singer was hired to replace Parris and, as a result, when the first live performances of the song were given, Parris was not even there to sing his own song. Eventually, he was honourably discharged and was able to resume his career.
“In The Still of the Night” never had much success when it came to the music charts. However, it has endured through the years and has emerged as the definitive example of a great Doo Wop song. “In The Still of the Night” was used to great effect in the movie, “Dirty Dancing”, as well as during the opening scenes in the recent movie, “The Irishman”.
“In The Still of the Night” is part of the soundtrack of the 1950s and is one of the best songs to illustrate the beauty of vocal harmonizing. This has, in turn, has inspired modern day groups such as Boyz II Men, who are carrying on the tradition of Doo Wop in a way that must have made Fred Parris proud.
For now, let’s listen to one of the greatest Doo Wop songs of all-time….”In The Still of the Night” by The Five Satins. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “In The Still of the Night” by The Five Satins, can be found here.
The link to the official website for The Five Satins, can be found here.
The link to the video of the song, “In The Still of the Night”, as covered by Boyz II Men, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Boyz II Men, can be found here.
The link to the video for the movie, “The Irishman”, which uses “In The Still of the Night”, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.