Deep Purple (song)

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"Deep Purple"
Composition by Peter DeRose
Composer(s) Peter DeRose
Lyricist(s) Mitchell Parish (added 1938)

"Deep Purple" is a song and the biggest hit written by pianist Peter DeRose, who broadcast between 1923 and 1939 with May Singhi as "The Sweethearts of the Air" on the NBC radio network. The British rock band Deep Purple named themselves after the song.



"Deep Purple" was published in 1933 as a piano composition. The following year, Paul Whiteman had it scored for his suave "big band" orchestra that was "making a lady out of jazz" in Whiteman's phrase. "Deep Purple" became so popular in sheet music sales that Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1938.

1938-39 recordings

Nino Tempo & April Stevens

"Deep Purple"
Deep Purple - Nino Tempo & April Stevens.jpg
The cover of the album of the same name
Single by Nino Tempo & April Stevens
from the album Deep Purple
B-side "I've Been Carrying a Torch for You So Long That It Burned a Great Big Hole in My Heart"
ReleasedSeptember 1963
Label Atco
Songwriter(s) Peter DeRose, Mitchell Parish
Nino Tempo & April Stevens singles chronology
"Baby Weemus"
"Deep Purple"

The second-most popular version, which hit number one on the U.S. pop charts (the 100th song to do so) in November 1963 and also won that year's Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Record, was recorded by brother-sister act Nino Tempo & April Stevens. It remained in the Top 40 for twelve weeks and was number one on the Hot 100 the week before John F. Kennedy was assassinated. [5] This version of the song is notable for its second half, in which April Stevens speaks the lyrics in a low and sweet voice while Nino Tempo sings. According to the Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson, when the duo first recorded the song as a demo, Tempo forgot the words, and Stevens spoke the lyrics to the song to remind him. The record's producers thought Stevens' spoken interludes were "cute" and should be included on the finished product, but according to Stevens, Tempo "didn't want anyone talking while he was singing!"[ citation needed ]

Chart performance

The Tempo/Stevens version was intended as the B-side of a song called "I've Been Carrying a Torch for You So Long That It Burned a Great Big Hole in My Heart". However, radio stations preferred "Deep Purple". "I've Been Carrying a Torch..." held the distinction of having the longest title, at 67 letters, of a flipside of a Billboard number-one record. The B-side of Prince's 1984 number-one hit "When Doves Cry", titled "17 Days (the rain will come down, then U will have 2 choose, if U believe, look 2 the dawn and U shall never lose)", is now the longest such flipside title, with 85 letters and numbers.

Donny & Marie Osmond version

"Deep Purple"
Deep Purple - Donny & Marie Osmond.jpg
Single by Donny & Marie Osmond
B-side "Take Me Back Again"
ReleasedDecember 1975
Genre Pop
Label MGM
Songwriter(s) Peter DeRose, Mitchell Parish
Producer(s) Mike Curb
Donny & Marie Osmond singles chronology
"Make the World Go Away"
"Deep Purple"
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"

Another brother-and-sister team, Donny and Marie Osmond, revived "Deep Purple" with a note-for-note cover version of Tempo and Stevens's recording in 1975 [10] and took it into the Top 20 on the U.S. and Canadian pop charts. It peaked at number 14 in March 1976 [11] on the Billboard Hot 100, with Marie Osmond speaking the lyrics as Stevens had done in the version with Tempo. The song that succeeded the Tempo/Stevens version of "Deep Purple" at number one on the Billboard chart, "I'm Leaving It Up to You" by Dale & Grace, had also been a hit over a decade later in a cover version by Donny & Marie in 1974.

Donny and Marie Osmond's "Deep Purple" was an even greater Adult Contemporary hit. It peaked at number eight on both the U.S. and Canadian charts. The song spent 23 weeks on the pop chart, far longer than did any other song by the Osmond family. [7] "Deep Purple" is ranked as the 42nd-biggest U.S. hit of 1976. [12]

Donny and Marie performed "Deep Purple" on Bob Hope's Christmas Party on December 14, 1975. [13]

Chart performance

Later versions

The song remained a favorite interpreted by many genres:

The rock band Deep Purple

The British rock band Deep Purple took their name from Pete De Rose's hit, as it was the favourite song of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's grandmother; she would also play the song on piano. [25] [26] However, the band has never recorded or performed the song.

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