The May and Peter DeRose Babe Ruth Collection
Babe Ruth and composer and radio personalities (they were the sweethearts of the Airwaves on NBC radio for 16 years) Peter & May DeRose became friends from
almost the first moment the Ruth stepped into a Yankees uniform. They partied with Ruth on his second wedding day in 1929. According to columnist Red Smith, “A reception (for the wedding) followed in babe’s apartment on Riverside Drive, where the 18th amendment did not apply. It was opening day of the baseball season but the weather intervened on behalf of the happy couple. The party went on and on, with entertainment by Peter de Rose, composer-pianist, and May Singhi Breen, who played the ukulele and sang.”
In 1933, DeRose, best known for his songwriting for stars as wide as John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Glenn miller and Peggy lee, wrote “Deep Purple”. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra had it scored and it became one of their biggest hits. The sheet music was so popular, that, in 1939, Mitchell Parish, the wordsmith who added the magic to Hoagy Charmichael’s “Stardust”, wrote lyrics. When the Larry Clinton Orchestra recorded it, with vocal by Bea Wain, it became a huge hit all over again.
Ruth adored the song so much that De Rose played it for the Babe at each of his birthday parties over the last ten years of Babe’s life.