1971 Peter Nero – Theme From “Summer of ’42”
Bernard Nierow was born in Brooklyn in 1934. He practiced classic piano until he found it too boring and switched over to playing his own fusion of classic and jazz music. He played piano on a Paul Whiteman television special when he was 17 years-old and followed that with nearly a dozen appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and a few visits to The Tonight Show.
He played in clubs in New York and Las Vegas, but struggled to make a living. Stan Greeson, an executive at RCA Victor, caught his act and signed him to the label. Bernard changed his name to Peter Nero and recorded his first album in 1961. Peter won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist that year, and he began releasing multiple albums each year. He included a large number of recordings that covered theme songs from films and television shows.
Peter won a second Grammy Award in 1962 for Best Performance By An Orchestra Or Instrumentalist With Orchestra – Primarily Not Jazz Or For Dancing. He later received nominations for five other awards.
Peter moved to Columbia Records in 1970.
Michel Legrand composed the music for the film Summer of ’42. Peter created his own arrangement of the Theme From “Summer of ’42” and released it as a single. The record reached #21 on the Hot 100 in 1971.
That single was the only time Peter reached the Hot 100, but two more of his covers reached the top forty on the Adult Contemporary Chart. Brian’s Song, the theme from the television movie, peaked at #30 in 1972. Emmanuelle was the cover of the theme song from the film and reached #37 in 1975.
By the time he stopped releasing new music in the twenty-first century, he had recorded over 60 albums and released more than 50 singles.
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