Singer Fred Parris of the Five Satins dead at age 85

Jan 19, 2022, 1:05 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Fred Parris, the lead singer of the 1950s harmony group the Five Satins and composer of the classic doo-wop ballad “In the Still of the Night,” has died at age 85.

Parris died Jan. 13 after a brief illness, according to his music manager, Pat Marafiote. Parris and his wife Emma lived in Hamden, Connecticut, not far from his native New Haven.

Parris was in his late teens, and on military guard duty in Philadelphia, when thoughts of his girlfriend inspired an early rock standard. Parris and his fellow Satins recorded the song in the basement of St. Bernadette Church in New Haven, the finished track featuring a dreamlike saxophone solo by Vinny Mazzetta (an altar boy at the church) and Parris’ soulful baritone playing off the backing chants of “shoo-doo-shooby-doo.”

Released in 1956, “In the Still of the Night” only reached No. 24 on the Billboard pop charts but became a multimillion seller through reissues and appearances on compilation and soundtrack albums and now helps define an era of harmony groups along with such favorites as the Penguins’ “Earth Angel” and the Cadillacs’ “Speedoo.” The Satins’ song (the last word sometimes spelled “Nite” to avoid confusion with Cole Porter’s “In the Still of the Night”) was a favorite for oldies radio stations and was featured in such period films as “Dirty Dancing” and “The Irishman.” The Beach Boys, Boyz II Men and Debbie Gibson are among the performers who covered it.

Formed as the Scarlets while Parris was in high school, the Five Satins had minor hits with “To the Aisles” and “Shadows” among others and Parris continued to tour over the following decades even as the Satins’ popularity faded and backing singers came and went.

The Five Satins were elected into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. Seven years later, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “In the Still of the Night” at No. 90 on its list of the 500 greatest songs.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Carlos Santana performs at the BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival in Napa, Calif., on May...
Associated Press

Rocker Carlos Santana ‘doing well’ after collapsing onstage

DETROIT (AP) — Guitar icon Carlos Santana collapsed on stage during a show in Michigan and was rushed to a hospital, later blaming the episode on forgetting to eat or drink water. Santana, 74, was “doing well” Wednesday after being taken from his show at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, some 40 miles northwest […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

North Dakota man appeals convictions in slayings of 4 people

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A man sentenced to life in prison for killing four people at a North Dakota business in what authorities say was one of the most heinous crimes in the state’s history is appealing his conviction. An attorney for Chad Isaak argues the man’s conviction should be reversed because of errors during […]
9 hours ago
FILE - A cameraman films the Logo of Dutch airline KLM at the Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, west...
Associated Press

Dutch airline KLM sued over alleged ‘greenwashing’

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Several environmental groups have launched legal action against Dutch airline KLM over advertisements that promoted flying as a sustainable form of travel. Netherlands based campaigners Fossielvrij NL, supported by Reclame Fossielvrij and environmental lawyers from ClientEarth, said they think the lawsuit is the first to challenge alleged “greenwashing” by the airline industry. […]
9 hours ago
Roberto Marquez adds a Guatemalan flag to a makeshift memorial at the site where officials more tha...
Associated Press

Texas officials ID all but 6 of 53 migrant truck victims

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — All but six of the 53 migrants found dead or dying in a tractor-trailer in Texas last week have been identified, officials said Wednesday. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office said 22 of the dead were from Mexico, 19 were from Guatemala and six were from Honduras. The migrants were found […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: July 4 The Washington Post says that, after the abortion ruling, digital privacy is more important than ever In the 21st century, our phones might know we are pregnant before the people closest to us do — a reality that, with the overturning of Roe […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Speaker of the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, ri...
Associated Press

Putin’s aide warns US against pressing for war crimes court

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Kremlin official warned the U.S. Wednesday that it could face the “wrath of God” if it pursues efforts to help establish an international tribunal to investigate Russia’s action in Ukraine, while the Russian lower house speaker urged Washington to remember that Alaska used to belong to Russia. Dmitry Medvedev, the […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Singer Fred Parris of the Five Satins dead at age 85