During his long career, pop composer Peter de Rose wrote many songs that went on to become jazz and pop standards, as was the case with his most famous tune, "Deep Purple," which has been recorded by Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Smith, and more. Born into a large family in N.Y.C. in early 1900, de Rose's sister began teaching him piano when he was 12 He eventually learned to play by ear and after high school, got a job at a song publishing company. De Rose got his first song published in 1918 and his first hit in 1920 with "When You're Gone, I Won't Forget." Although this song sold over one million copies of sheet music, de Rose had already sold the rights to it for 25 dollars. Other of de Rose's best-known songs include "Lamp Is Low," "Autumn Serenade," "Have You Ever Been Lonely," "Wagon Wheels," "On a Little Street in Singapore," "Starlit Hour," "That's Life I Guess," "Marshmallow World," and "Deep Purple," which was written as an instrumental that Mitchell Parish later added lyrics to. Other songwriters de Rose collaborated with over the years include Harry Richman, Charles Tobias, Sam M. Lewis, and Carl Sigman. His chief collaborator, however, was his wife, May Singhi Breen. The couple had a radio series, Sweethearts of the Air, from 1923-1939. After over 30 years of successful songwriting that also included numbers for stage productions, the 1941 Ice Capades, and the early '50s films On Moonlight Bay and About Face, de Rose's final hit was "You Can Do It," written just before his death in 1953. Compositions by this member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame have been recorded by many music legends, including John Coltrane, Art Tatum, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Giuffre, Les McCann, Spike Jones, Bix Beiderbecke, Patsy Cline, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Peggy Lee, June Christy, and more.
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