Nino Tempo & April Stevens

Nino Tempo & April Stevens

BMHOF Class of 1999

In 1963 Nino Tempo and April Stevens made local history when they became the first W.N.Y. act of the rock era to score a Number 1 single with "Deep Purple". Originally from Niagara Falls, this brother and sister duo earned a Grammy Award when the song was named Best Rock 'n' Roll song of the year.

According to April Stevens (Carol LoTempio), the song almost didn't happen. She explained, "The song started out as a joke. Nino was just sitting and fooling around with the piano". She continued. "We did the song in one take, with a few minutes left of studio time". For a little bit of rock trivia, the studio guitarist on the recording was Glen Campbell.

April eventually stopped performing and now resides in Arizona. Nino now lives in LA where he works as studio musician. He has played on many Phil Spector recordings and toured as the saxophone player with Frank Sinatra. Nino recalled playing with Sinatra at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas when Sinatra introduced him by saying, "Here's a guy playing saxophone and he doesn't have to do this. He's had some big records with his sister, but I'm glad he's here because in my mind he's the best jazz saxophone player". However, Nino admits that it has been difficult being accepted as a jazz musician, commenting "A lot of jazz musicians seemed to resent the fact that I had a Number 1 pop record".

When asked about his reaction to being inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, April stated, "We grew up in Niagara Falls and to get such recognition in your home area means a lot". Nino added, "We're both very grateful and it's very flattering. Back there is where it all started for us and that's why this means so much". 

For more information on Nino and April, click here

​​Back - 1999