“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).