Temptation (Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed song)

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Song by Bing Crosby
Composer(s)Nacio Herb Brown[1]
Lyricist(s)Arthur Freed[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 introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1933 film Going Hollywood. Crosby recorded the song with Lennie Hayton's orchestra on October 22, 1933[2] and it reached the No. 3 spot in the charts of the day during a 12-week stay.[3] He recorded it again with John Scott Trotter's Orchestra on March 3, 1945[4] and also for his 1954 album Bing: A Musical Autobiography.

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).

Other notable recordings[edit]

Other popular versions of the song have been recorded by Artie Shaw and his orchestra on September 7, 1940, Perry Como in 1945, and by Mario Lanza in 1952. Andy Williams, Screamin' Jay Hawkins also recorded the song. Perry Como rerecorded the song in 1974.

In 1946 Harry James recorded a live version performed at Meadowbrook Gardens, CA (One Night Stand With Harry James, 1975, Joyce LP-1014)[5]

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 and this topped the USA charts.[6]

African-American crooner Billy Eckstine recorded his version December 30, 1947. Reached #7 on the Billboard R&B chart.

Enoch Light and his Light Brigade band recorded a version on the 1959 album Provocative Percussion Volume 2. This is in-turn sampled on electronic producer Amon Tobin track Nightlife from his 1998 album Permutation.

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.[7]

Charlie Parker recorded a version in 1952 on the Verve label.

Italian folk band Banda Ionica released a 2002 cover of the instrumental under the alternative title Lorenzo In Sicilia.

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 male 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 octopuses 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 Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 104. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  4. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "One Night Stand With Harry James". 45worlds.com. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 222. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 214.