IN THE STILL OF THE NITE

Latest update on 30/06/2017

Artist: Five Satins
Author: Fred Parris
Label: Ember/Standard
Year: 1956

Written by Five Satins member Fred Parris, who was in the army while they cut his song. One of the ten titles in The History Of Rock 'N' Roll In 10 Songs by Greil Marcus. Not to be confused with Cole Porter's In The Still Of The Night (see there).

Covers:

1957:

Platters

1958:

Crests

1960:

Flamingos

1960:

Kool Kats [as Dans la nuit mon amour]

1961:

Safaris

1964:

Santo & Johnny [as I'll Remember (In The Still Of The Nite); instrumental]

1966:

Tokens

1966:

Four Tops

1966:

Del Vikings

1969:

Paul Anka

1971:

John Sebastian [as In The Still Of The Night (I Remember Parris)]

1971:

Yusef Lateef

1972:

Sha Na Na

1973:

Marcels

1976:

Beach Boys

1994:

Boyz II Men [n°3 US]

This rock 'n roll classic became a millionseller through numerous re-releases on oldies compilations. Mechanical rights (one dollarcent for every copy sold), not to mention broadcasting rights (two and a half dollarcent for any airplay) should have made the author rich. If Fred Parris had kept his publishing, he would cash in on every cover version played or sold. What happened was explained in an interview with Reebee Garofalo, published in Jannette Dates & William Barlow's Split Image: African Americans In The Mass Media (Washington DC - Howard University Press, 1990 - p. 72). It is not because his name is mentioned all over that he automatically gets the benefits. First he's got to be registrated with BMI. As long as nobody told him to do so, young and unexperienced Fred was completely unaware of that. Some people clearly benefitted from this ignorance, which wasn't even hard to impose as long as Fred was on duty. By the time he was back around, the biggest benefits had already disappeared in other people's pockets. Someone else had been registrated as the author at BMI. Protesting or sueing was no option for a young black in the early sixties.

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