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Published on Jun 12, 2012
Written by pianist Peter DeRose, who broadcast, 1923 to 1939, with May Singhi as "The Sweethearts of the Air" on the NBC radio network. 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. Larry Clinton and His Orchestra recorded one of the most popular versions of the song on 23 December 1938. Featuring vocalist Bea Wain, the Clinton version was a huge hit. The next most popular version was made by Artie Shaw with vocalist Helen Forrest. The song is a sentimental ballad. The tune was a favorite of Babe Ruth, and Peter DeRose performed the song at Ruth's birthday parties for about a decade. The song remained a traditional pop favourite, recast in 1957 as a doo wop classic by The Dominoes with vocals by Eugene Mumford. The second most popular version, which hit number one on the U.S. pop charts (the 100th song to do so) in1963 and also won that year's Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Record, was recorded by Nino Tempo & April Stevens.