Friday, March 28, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Nino Tempo & April Stevens

Artist:Nino Tempo & April Stevens
Song:Deep Purple
Album:Hey Baby! The Nino Tempo & April Stevens Anthology

Though the brother sister duo of Nino Tempo & April Stevens are known for the 1963 number one hit Deep Purple, both have had long careers in the entertainment industry. Antonio and Carol LoTiempo are from Niagara falls, NY but they grew up in Los Angeles. Tempo learned to play the sax as a child and he appeared on TV with Benny Goodman. Then he played Goodman in the 1953 film The Glenn Miller Story. Then he became a session musician. April Stevens recorded for RCA Records in the early 50s and had a 1951 top ten hit with I'm In Love Again. Both recorded solo in the late 50s with little success. Tempo became a member of the legendary Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. During a Bobby Darin recording session, Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun suggested Tempo record as a duo with April. After the first couple of singles stiffed, Tempo suggested the chestnut Deep Purple. Ertegun hated the record but it was released and topped the charts in 1963 much to Ertegun's surprise. He tried to bury it on a B-side. Apparently Tempo thought it would be a hit. The record won a Grammy for Best Rock & Roll Record. April says her speaking the lyrics on the record was because Tempo forgot the words and she was helping him. Deep Purple was written by Pete DeRose and Mitchell Parrish and was first a hit by Larry Clinton and his Orchestra in 1938. It was also a hit for Artie Shaw featuring Helen Forrest. Tempo & Stevens had a top 20 hit with Whispering in 1964. But they were never able to repeat the success of Deep Purple. This Ace Records comp covers their whole career. Tempo & Stevens also recorded for White Whale and A & M. Tempo went back to session work and charted with Sister James in 1973 as Nino Tempo & 5th Ave. Sax. April Stevens released a few unsuccessful singles and the two continue to perform together today. Here's Nino Tempo & April Stevens performing Deep Purple in the 1963 Dick Clark produced TV special Celebrity Party.

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