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Connecticut doo-wop legend Fred Parris dies at 85

Debra Marafiote
Wikimedia Commons
Fred Parris performs at the Westbury Music Theater in New York.

Connecticut doo-wop legend Fred Parris has died. Parris founded the Five Satins in New Haven in 1954, and was best known for the hit “In the Still of the Night.”

Parris wrote the song and sang lead on it. He and his group, all New Haven locals, recorded it in the basement of Saint Bernadette Catholic Church in 1956.

"In the Still of the Night" sold over a million records and defined the doo-wop genre. It’s had staying power — it was covered by Boyz II Men in 1993 and appeared in movies from Dirty Dancing to 2019’s The Irishman.

Parris kept performing with a variety of doo-wop acts for more than six decades. He was 85 years old.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.