Better known as the Five Satins and also as Black Satin, this New Haven group has been performing in various identities since the '50s. Their song "In the Still of the Night" remains the definitive doo wop love song, and has frequently topped New York oldies giant WCBS-FM's fan survey for greatest record of all time. Parris, Al Denby, Jim Freeman, Eddie Martin, and pianist Jessie Murphy were the original lineup. By the time the song peaked at number three R&B, Parris was in the Army, stationed in Japan. Bill Baker stepped in as lead singer until Parris returned in 1958. The group under Baker had another Top Ten hit in 1957, although "To the Aisle" isn't quite as revered. They enjoyed one last Top 30 R&B single with "Shadows" in 1959. All their hits were on Ember, but by 1959 the lineup was Parris, Richard Freeman, Wes Forbes, Lou Peebles, and Sylvester Hopkins. In 1975, Parris, Richie Freeman, Jimmy Curtis, and Nate Marshall recorded for Buddah as Black Satin. Confusion has ensued in the '80s and '90s, as both Baker and Parris have led and recorded with groups billed as The Five Satins.
Share this page