Since the Grateful Dead’s earliest heights in the ‘70s and through until today, countless bands, from local crews to amphitheater-ready supergroups to offshoots that feature musicians/members from within the Dead’s own orbit, have built entire careers around worming into the Dead’s vast, varied catalog. At the peak of the present-day scene are a pair of infallible groups, Dark Star Orchestra and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. But solidly just a few rungs beneath are The Stolen Faces, the Dead tribute act based in Nashville. Last week, The Stolen Faces had a special guest appearance from one Jimmy Fallon, who joined the tribute band on stage at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl for a version of the Dead’s “Tennessee Jed.”
About a decade ago, I was walking down 23rd Street in Manhattan, when suddenly, without warning, a group of teenagers in front of me burst into song. To my surprise, they belted out the doo-wop classic “In the Still of the Night.” I immediately texted my father, a lifelong fan of the tune, saying I thought the scene was emblematic of just how well the track has endured.
“In the Still of the Night” was first recorded by the Five Satins in 1956. The song was not a huge hit upon its release. But with its memorable chorus and perfect doo-wop harmonies, it has grown more popular through time. In the ‘80s, WCBS-FM (New York City’s oldies station) repeatedly listed the song in the number one spot on its annual Top 500 countdown. Around the same time, the song appeared on the 1987 mega-selling Dirty Dancing soundtrack. There have been a number of covers over the years, most notably by Philly soulsters Boyz II Men, who gave it the “Cooley High” treatment in 1992.