Songs You Might Not know Were Covers Vol. 9: Deep Purple (#9)
By Four Walls
September 14, 2021 10:56am CST
Now it really is “number nine, number nine”! Here’s the song at the number nine spot in the 9th countdown of songs you may know but may not have realized were actually covers. This one is all over the place, so grab a map and a seat, and let’s go! #9: Deep Purple Ah, Donny and Marie. Those teethy Mormons. Seriously, if you didn’t even care for Donny Osmond in the 70s (and I didn’t: my teenybopper idol was Elton John), you knew he was a Mormon and he loved the color purple. And those famous Osmond teeth. In 1975 the brother and sister, having a huge success with their TV series where they were “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll” (and Marie wasn’t kidding: she had a country hit with “Paper Roses”), scored a chart victory with “Deep Purple.” Of course, that was a cover. If you go back to 1964 you’ll find another brother and sister singing the song: Nino Tempo and April Stevens. They won a best rock and roll Grammy for the song “Deep Purple.” No wonder the band Deep Purple took their name from the song!!!! You see, it was the favorite tune of Ritchie Blackmore’s grandmother, which should tell you that Nino and April weren’t the first ones to worry about the sleepy garden walls. Nope, not at all. The song began as an instrumental in 1933. The melody was incredibly popular, so much so that, in 1938, Mitchell Parish added lyrics to the song. Parish was good at that: the songs he provided lyrics for include “Stars Fell on Alabama,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Stardust.” So, in reality, there are TWO “first recordings” of this song. The instrumental original dates to 1934 and Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra. The vocal rendition, however, first came out in late 1938 and was a sensation. So much so that it spawned two popular covers and a rock band’s name! Deep Purple Written by Peter DeRose (music, 1933) and Mitchell Parish (lyrics, 1938) Originally recorded (instrumentally) by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra, 1933 Originally recorded (vocally) by the Larry Clinton Orchestra with Bea Wain, 1938 Famously covered by Nino Tempo & April Stevens, 1963 Also famously covered by Donny & Marie Osmond, 1975 The original vocal performance:
Recorded 12/23/1938 - Charted At #1 In 1939. Victor 26141A"Deep Purple" was the biggest hit written by pianist Peter DeRose, who broadcast, 1923 to 1939, wit...
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I’m not too thrilled with the original, either. Spoiled by the later versions.