Only four of the five Satins
showed up to record "In the Still of the Nite" (or "In the Still of the Night," as it is sometimes listed) on a December night in 1955. The song, written by lead singer Fred Parris
, was composed while he was serving guard duty in the U.S. Army, and was never intended to be more than a B-side to another Parris
song: the up-tempo "The Jones Girl." When DJs flipped the platter, an enduring classic was born. Though it was never even close to a hit in its original incarnation in 1956 (or when re-released in 1960, and again in 1961), "Nite" continues to charm listeners some fifty years on, in spite of (or maybe because of) being a messy, horribly produced two-track recording. The Five Satins
had a few other minor hits, including "A Night to Remember" in 1959 and a pair of 1956 songs, "Wonderful Girl" and a remake of Don Howard
's "Oh Happy Day." But "In the Still of the Nite" remains their signature song. This brief compilation has all you really need, including "Nite" in all its messy, nostalgic, and oddly elegant glory, the proverbial little B-side engine that could.