OH WHAT A NIGHT (The Dells song)

Oh, What a Night (The Dells song)

Released August 1969
Format 7″ single
Recorded 1969
Genre Doo-wop, soul
Length 6:09
Label Cadet Records

Writer(s) Marvin Junior, Johnny Funches
Producer(s) Bobby Miller

“Oh, What a Night” is a song first recorded by the doo-wop group the Dells and released in 1956, originally under the title “Oh What a Nite”. The song is said to have been inspired by a party, which had been held in the Dells’ honor by some female friends of the group.

The Dells’ original recording on the Vee Jay label peaked at number four on the R&B singles chart. In 1969, they refashioned it as a soul song on the Cadet label. The new “Oh, What a Night” was notably different from its original counterpart with an altered arrangement and tempo, and included a spoken recitation, in the introduction, from the bass member of the group. This new version reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one on the Best Selling Soul singles chart.

The 1969 version was ranked #260 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Oh, What a Night” has been covered by Sly Stone & the Biscaynes (1978), Tracey Ullman (1983), Lester Bowie (1986), the Moonlighters (1988), Nick Kamen (1988), Barbara Jones (1995), Donnie & the Del Chords (1999), Unisoghn (2001) and John Barrowman (2010).


1950s version

Lead vocals by Johnny Funches and Marvin Junior
Background vocals by Johnny Funches, Marvin Junior, Michael McGill, Chuck Barksdale and Verne Allison

1960s version
Lead vocals by Junior Marvin (Marvin Junior) and Johnny Carter
Background vocals by Johnny Carter, Michael McGill, Chuck Barksdale and Verne Allison
Spoken intro by Chuck Barksdale
Produced by Bobby Miller