Peter DeRose

Peter DeRose (or De Rose) (March 10, 1896 – April 23, 1953) was an American composer of jazz and pop music during the era of Tin Pan Alley.

Peter DeRose
Peter DeRose.jpg
Background information
Born(1896-03-10)March 10, 1896[1]
New York City
DiedApril 23, 1953(1953-04-23) (aged 57)
New York City
GenresJazz, pop
Years active1919–1953
Associated actsCharles Tobias, Al Stillman, Carl Sigman, Billy Hill


The monument of Peter De Rose
The epitaph letter from May to Peter

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.[2]

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 16 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.[2]

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 shortly before his death in New York City in 1953. He is interred in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1970, Peter DeRose was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[3]



  1. ^ "Peter Derose (1896-1953) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Peter de Rose". Composers and Lyricists Database. 1988. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Songwriters Hall of Fame". Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  4. ^[dead link]

External linksEdit