Peter DeRose (or De Rose) (March 10, 1900 – April 23, 1953) was an American composer of jazz and pop music during the era of Tin Pan Alley.
|Born||March 10, 1900|
New York City
|Died||April 23, 1953 53) (aged|
New York City
|Associated acts||Charles Tobias, Al Stillman, Carl Sigman, Billy Hill|
A native of New York City, he showed a gift for all things musical at an early age. He learned to play the piano from an older sister. F.B. Haviland published his first song, "Tiger Rose Waltzes", when he was eighteen years old. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1917, he found a job at a music store as a stock room clerk. His composition "When You're Gone, I Won't Forget" led to a job at the New York office of Italian music publisher G. Ricordi & Co.
In 1923 he met May Singhi Breen when she performed on radio with the ukulele group The Syncopators. A relationship developed, and she left the group to join DeRose in a musical radio show on NBC called The Sweethearts of the Air in which he played piano and she played ukulele. The show lasted for sixteen years, during which time the two entertainers were married. The show not only provided them with a good living, but was also a vehicle for introducing his compositions.
DeRose collaborated with lyricists such as Charles Tobias, Al Stillman, Carl Sigman, Billy Hill. His music has been recorded by John Coltrane, Spike Jones, Art Tatum, Les McCann, and Peggy Lee. He wrote songs for the Broadway musicals Yes Yes Yvette and Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1928.
"Deep Purple", his most famous song, was written in 1934 as a piano composition with lyrics added a few years later by Mitchell Parish. It was a hit for Larry Clinton & His Orchestra in 1939 and recorded by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Sarah Vaughan. In 1957, it was a No. 20 hit record for Billy Ward & the Dominoes, then a No. 1 hit on the 1963 Billboard chart for Nino Tempo and April Stevens. It became popular again in 1976 in the duet by Donny and Marie Osmond.
In 1932 DeRose wrote music with radio star Phillips H. Lord for one of Lord's Seth Parker religious music books. DeRose also composed music for the 1941 Ice Capades show. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he wrote songs for several Hollywood films. His last hit was "You Can Do It" written soon before his death in New York City in 1953. Interred in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.
Awards and honors
In 1970, Peter DeRose was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
- "Deep Purple" (1934) – Popularized by Larry Clinton and His Orchestra with Bea Wain and later by Nino Tempo and April Stevens as a duet
- "Have You Ever Been Lonely?" (1934) – A hit for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, it was recorded by Teresa Brewer in 1960, Patsy Cline in 1961, and Jim Reeves in 1962.
- "Lilacs in the Rain" (1939) – Written with Mitchell Parish, it was recorded by Tony Martin (1939), The Ravens (1949), Carl Perkins (pianist) (1955), Carmen McRae (1956), and Junior Mance (1959).
- "A Marshmallow World" (1949) – A Christmas song recorded by Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Dean Martin, and Kim Stockwood (1999)
- "On a Little Street in Singapore" (1938) – Performed by Harry James and Frank Sinatra
- "Somebody Loves You" (1932) – Piano composition and with lyrics recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1966
- "Wagon Wheels" (1934) – Used in the Broadway musical Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and performed by Bing Crosby and Paul Robeson
- "Buona Sera" – An international hit for Louis Prima in 1956
- "Rain" (1934) – Performed by Ella Fitzgerald