Fred Parris Dies: Singer On ‘In The Still Of The Night’ By The Five Satins Was 85

Fred Parris, left, and The Five Satins, ca. 1950s Everett Collection

Fred Parris, the songwriter whose “In The Still of the Night” became one of doo-wop’s most memorable songs, has died at age 85 after what was termed a brief illness. The group’s Facebook page announced his death Friday, although it is unclear when he died. .

The Five Satins family is devastated by this loss but appreciative of having shared Fred’s music with thousands of fans and friends,” the group said.

The song didn’t chart highly upon its first release, but grew in the years after to personify the era of vocal groups thanks to constant radio airplay. It has been recorded by such artists as Boyz II Men and Debbie Gibson, and has been featured in such films as The Buddy Holly Story, Dirty Dancing and The Irishman.

The group noted Parris’ classic song “has been recognized as one of the greatest love songs of all-time and the No. 1 requested song of the doo-wop era.”

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“In the Still of the Night” is sometimes stylized as “In the Still of the Nite” to avoid confusion with a 1937 Cole Porter song with the same title.

Parris grew up in New Haven, Conn. and wrote the song’s lyrics while on guard duty for the US Army in Philadelphia. The song was recorded in New Haven in February 1956. It is ranked at No. 90 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time. It is also a perennial winner of oldies radio countdowns, and was part of a Dirty Dancing soundtrack that sold 10 million copies.

It is also the only song to have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times by the same artist with the same version each time.

Details on survivors and memorial plans were not immediately available.

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