“When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls
And the stars begin to flicker in the sky
Through the mist of a memory you wander back to me
Breathing my name with a sigh
In the still of the night once again I hold you tight
Though you’re gone, your love lives on when moonlight beams
And as long as my heart will beat, lover we’ll always meet
Here in my deep purple dreams
Here in my deep purple dreams”
The song was written by the composer and radio performer Peter De Rose in the early 1930s, and it became a standard when the lyricist Mitchell Parish added words to it in 1938. Parish was known for sweeping, romantic lyrics – some of his other compositions include “Stardust” and “Sophisticated Lady” – and he turned the song into a touching ballad. The song was recorded by a number of orchestras, including those led by Artie Shaw, Paul Whiteman, Guy Lombardo and Larry Clinton. In 1939, it was a #1 hit for Larry McClinton and His orchestra.
Many popular vocalists also recorded it, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sammy Davis Jr. In the Rock Era, the song charted first when Billy Ward & His Dominoes took it to #20 US in 1957 (their last crossover Top 40 hit). Tempo and Stevens had by far the biggest hit with the song, but Donny & Marie Osmond returned it to the charts in 1976 when their version hit #14 in the US.
Nino was supposed to sing the second chorus by himself, but he “blanked out,” so April fed it to him line by line as the tape was rolling. A friend listening to the recording thought that April’s “narration” would make “Deep Purple” a #1 record… but not Nino, initially – April took two months to convince him that the narration was OK. Ertegun didn’t like “Deep Purple,” either – he mothballed it and released “Paradise” instead. “Paradise” sank without a trace.
Nino demanded that Ertegun release “Deep Purple” as a single or release them from their contract from Atlantic Records. Ertegun agreed to the single release, stating that if “Deep Purple” didn’t become a hit, his and April’s contract would be terminated.
When this song was released as a single, Ahmet Ertegun had so little faith in it that he thought the B-side, “I’ve Been Carrying a Torch for You so Long That I Burned a Great Big Hole in My Heart,” had a better chance of becoming a hit.
Won the Grammy for Best Rock & Roll Recording of 1963.
I ask for prayers for myself (and my wife) tomorrow morning. I go in for another heart cath in hopes of finding the cause for my lingering angina (18 months post triple bypass). Been a rough road to recovery and am confident I have the right cardiologist for the job.
PEACE OUT ††† jw
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
– Dorothea Lange