Temptation (Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed song)

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Song by Bing Crosby
Published 1933
Writer(s) Arthur Freed (lyrics)[1]
Composer(s) Nacio Herb Brown[1]
Producer(s) Wesley Rose[1]

"Temptation" is a popular song published in 1933, with music written by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed. The song was used in the film Singin' in the Rain (1952) and later in the 1983 musical based on the film, and is prominently featured in Valerio Zurlini's Violent Summer (1959).

The song was introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1933 film Going Hollywood. Crosby recorded the song with Lennie Hayton's orchestra on October 22, 1933. He recorded it again with John Scott Trotter's Orchestra on March 3, 1945.

Recordings by Perry Como[edit]

  1. In mid-February, 1945, for a radio program, issued as a V-Disc.
  2. On March 27, 1945, issued as:
  3. On January 7, 1974, for an album, issued as:
    • an RCA stereo 12" LP, catalog number CPL1-0585 and quadraphonic 12" LP, catalog number CPD1-0585
    • an RCA 45rpm single, catalog number PB-10045-A with flip side "In These Crazy Times" (chart position #28 on the US Adult Contemporary charts)
  4. In 1980 at a live performance July 29–31, issued on an RCA 12" stereo LP album, Perry Como Live On Tour (catalog number AQL1-3826)[2]

Other notable recordings[edit]

Other versions of the song were recorded by Artie Shaw and his orchestra on September 7, 1940, and by Mario Lanza in 1952. Andy Williams, Screamin' Jay Hawkins also recorded the song.

In 1946 Harry James recorded a live version performed at Meadowbrook Gardens, CA (One Night Stand With Harry James, 1975, Joyce LP-1014)[3]

A parody version, entitled "Tim-tay-shun", was recorded in a country music style by Red Ingle with a vocal by "Cinderella G. Stump" (actually a pseudonym for Jo Stafford) in 1947.

African-American crooner Billy Eckstine recorded his version December 30, 1947.

The Everly Brothers' version (b/w "Stick With Me Baby", Warner Bros. Records WB5220), released in May 1961, reached #1 in the UK charts. This version also peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

Charlie Parker recorded an instrumental version on the Verve label.

Released on her posthumous album in 2003, Wildwood Flower, another version of the song, was recorded by June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash. They also performed it live in 2002.

American swing revivalists the Cherry Poppin' Daddies recorded a version for their 2016 album The Boop-A-Doo.

Other performances[edit]

An interpretation was featured in the first episode of The Muppet Show, with Miss Piggy, four chickens, four frogs, and two males pigs being led by Kermit the Frog in the Muppet Glee Club, Miss Piggy sang a solo in the third verse until the end, her voice being performed by Richard Hunt instead of Frank Oz, her then-regular performer. In a later episode, three octopi played the song on the drums and kazoo. Animal took offense to their bad playing, and attacked them.

This song is currently played by "Ohio's Pride," The University of Akron Marching Band.

The Michigan Marching Band has been playing a version of Temptation arranged by Jerry Billik for over 40 years. It also plays a shortened version whenever an opponent is stopped on third down. It also plays the song, in full, during the post-game performance, followed by Hawaiian War Chant, because according to announcer Carl Grapentine, "you can't have one without the other." The same arrangement is also used by the University of Michigan athletic bands, including the hockey, women's volleyball, and men's and women's basketball bands.

The song "Remember," performed by Josh Groban and Tanja Tzarovska for the 2004 film Troy, is largely based upon the melody of Temptation.


  • Who Wrote that Song Dick Jacobs & Harriet Jacobs, published by Writer's Digest Books, 1993


  1. ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "A Perry Como Discography & CD Companion". Kokomo.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  3. ^ "One Night Stand With Harry James". 45worlds.com. Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 214. 
Preceded by
"Runaway" by Del Shannon
UK number one single
The Everly Brothers' version

July 20, 1961 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Well I Ask You" by Eden Kane