Oh What A Nite

Album: Greatest Hits (1956)
Charted: 10
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was written by the group's baritone singer Marvin Junior and tenor John Funches, who sings lead on the track. The song is about a special night with a lady - one he'll always remember. It became a romantic standard and doo-wop classic.
  • The group - known as The Rays and The El Rays before settling on The Dells - formed in Harvey, Illinois in 1952, where they spent a few years singing at ice cream parlors and on street corners before getting a deal in 1955 with the esteemed Chicago label Chess Records to release a single, which flopped. The next year, they signed with Vee Jay and released "Oh What A Nite," which became a big hit, reaching #4 on the R&B chart. They toured the chitlin' circuit until 1958, which they got in a devastating car accident that put an end to the group until 1960, with John Carter replacing Funches.

    Back with Chess, they had a revival in the late '60s, scoring a #1 R&B hit with "Stay In My Corner" in 1968. In 1969, they re-recorded "Oh What A Night" at the behest of label owner Leonard Chess. Produced by Bobby Miller, this new version had a radically different arrangement and tempo, and even a new title: "Oh What A Night." It also went to #1 on the R&B chart and reached #10 on the Hot 100.
  • The 1969 version added a spoken intro, voiced by bass singer Chuck Barksdale, who didn't feature on the original version:

    Do you recall the night?
    That very, very special night
    Do you remember a girl?
    A very special girl
    Well to the old and to the new
    We rededicate this song to you
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 4

  • John L from Macon1969 version - Gene Barge A/K/A Daddy G - tenor sax solo.
  • John L from MaconA classic song. Lucius "Little Wash" Washington (solo) tenor sax with McKinley Easton on baritone sax.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 6th 1969, the Dells performed "Oh! What A Night" on the ABC-TV program 'The Music Scene'*...
    At the time the song was at #14 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; fifteen days earlier on September 21st it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks}, it had entered the chart on August 10th, 1969 and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    As stated above when the original version was released in 1956 'Night' was spelled as 'Nite'...
    The day it peaked at #10 on the Top 100 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1956 and 1992 the Harvey, Illinois quintet had forty-six records make the R&B Singles chart; twelve made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, their other #1 record was "Stay In My Corner" in 1968...
    * 'The Music Scene' debut on September 22nd, 1969 and and ran for 17 episodes.
  • Joel from East Islip, Long Island, NyThis is one of my favorite songs
see more comments

Ralph Casale - Session ProSongwriter Interviews

A top New York studio musician, Ralph played guitar on many '60s hits, including "Lightnin' Strikes," "A Lover's Concerto" and "I Am A Rock."

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Bill Medley of The Righteous BrothersSongwriter Interviews

Medley looks back on "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" - his huge hits from the '60s that were later revived in movies.

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesSongwriter Interviews

"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.