Soul Fantasy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fred Parris & The Satins - Let me be the last one 1982


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.
In 1977 the group teamed with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes for a solid cut on their This Time It’s for Real LP, with “First Night.” The group at that point was Fred, Richie, Jimmy and Nate Marshall. Billy Baker formed Billy Baker and the Satins in around 1981 with three Hopkins brothers, Sylvester (former Scarlet and Satin), Carl, and Frank (formerly of the Chestnuts). In 1982 they cut another excellent version of “In the Still of the Night” b/w “Crying in the Chapel” on Clifton Records and continued to perform in the Connecticut area for years to come. In the mid-80s Baker’s Satins included former members of the Modulations Harvey Potts, Jr., Anthony Hofler, and Octavio DeLeon. They recorded an LP in 1987 titled I’ll Be Seeing You. No, it does not contain a version of “In the Still of the Night.”
In 1982 Fred leads a new group through some nice modern soul stuff with that sort of updated harmony soul sound. The record is similar to some of the other good modern soul albums on Elektra at the time, and includes the tracks "I'll Be Seeing You", "Breaking Up", "Loving You (Would Be the Sweetest Thing)", and "Let Me Be the Last One".





Bill Baker died in 1994. One of the original members of the Five Satins now works in the cafeteria at the University of New Haven. Jim Freeman lives in Norwalk, Iowa and owns a pest control company. Wes Forbes is a psychologist in the State of California, currently employed with Alliant International University as a Training Director. Fred Parris and Richie Freeman are still actively performing with the Five Satins. The lineup now also includes Eugene Dobbs and Nadina Perry.



Biography by wikipedia and Ron Wynn

Note: The above posted track is not played in full

1 comment:

ROSIE said...

ILOVE THE SONG IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT.

MY OLDEST BROTHER WAYNE LOVED IT AND SANG IT ALL THE TIME.

HE PASSED AWAY IN 2009 FROM LEUKEMIA AT 66.

I MISSED SEEING FRED AND THE SATINS A FEW YEARS AGO IN UPSTATE NY WHERE I LIVE.

THE #1 WISH ON MY BUCKET LIST IS THE SEE THEM.

WAYNE WOULD OF LOVED IT IF HE WAS ALIVE AS HE LIVED CLOSE TO THERE WHERE THEY WERE APPEARING.

IN MY BROTHERS MEMORY I HAD IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT TATTOOED ON MY RIGHT FOREARM.

GOD BLESS YOU GYS AND KEEP ON ROCKING!

"ROSIE!"