The group, formed in New Haven, Connecticut, consisted of leader Fred Parris, Lou Peebles, Stanley Dortch, Ed Martin and Jim Freeman in 1954. With little success, the group reorganized, with Dortch and Peebles leaving, and new member Al Denby entering. The group then recorded “In the Still of the Night”, which was originally released as the b-side to the single, “The Jones Girl”. The single was released the following year, and “In the Still of the Night” ended up charting at number three on the R&B chart and number 25 on the pop charts. Parris entered the Army soon after, and the group reorganized again, with Martin, Freeman, Tommy Killebrew, Jessie Murphy and new lead Bill Baker. This lineup hit with another highly successful song, Billy Dawn Smith’s “To The Aisle”.
Upon Parris’ return from the Army, a new lineup was assembled, consisting of Parris, Lou Peebles (who was in a previous incarnation of the Five Satins), Sylvester Hopkins, Richie Freeman and Wes Forbes. The group would be briefly known as “Fred Parris and the Scarlets”, until the Baker-led group split up. At this point, they reverted to the Five Satins name, but had little success on the charts.
By the early 1970s the group was Parris, Peebles, Richie Freeman, Jimmy Curtis and Corky Rogers, and they continued recording into the 1980s, with Parris, Richie Freeman, Curtis and Nate Marshall. Meanwhile, Bill Baker started his own Five Satins group in 1981, with former Satin Sylvester Hopkins and Hopkins’ brothers Carl and Frank. By the late 1980s, this group consisted of Baker, Harvey Potts, Jr., Anthony Hofler and Octavio DeLeon.
Fred Parris continues to perform. Bill Baker died in 1994.
Awards and recognition:
In 2003, the Five Satins were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
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.
Edited by Dennisian on 6 Oct 2008, 04:15
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The Five Satins
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