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DeRose, Peterlocked

(10 March 1900–23 April 1953)
  • James Ross Moore

Extract

DeRose, Peter (10 March 1900–23 April 1953), composer of popular music and radio personality, was born in New York City, the son of Anthony DeRose, an Italian immigrant zither player, and Armelina Agresti DeRose, an Italian immigrant. Educated at DeWitt Clinton High School and tutored in music by one of his sisters, DeRose was working as a stock boy for the G. Schirmer music publishers in New York when, one day during his lunch hour, he turned out his first composition, “When You're Gone I Won't Forget You.” Fired for this transgression against the work rules, he sold the song for $25. During the next two years it sold two and a half million copies. DeRose then crossed the street to the G. Ricordi music publishing company, where he was hired as a junior salesman. He promised Ricordi he would write no songs on their time, but within four months the company was displaying six of his newly published songs. Flush with success, DeRose quit his job and in 1923 formed an orchestra with several of his siblings. In 1922 he became an early member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers....

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