Musical recollections from my early childhood mostly revolve around the scratchy 78s that were often played at our house, but my memory is notoriously porous so I can’t always remember specific records. Or to be more accurate, I can’t remember them until I stumble across a song and am instantly transported back, which is what happened when I recently rediscovered “Twilight Time” by the Three Suns.
Although the trio would in later years go through various personnel changes, the original Three Suns came together in the late 1930s. Brothers Al and Morty Nevins (who played — respectively — guitar and accordion) joined up with organist Artie Dunn, who also handled the occasional vocal, and began to find a little career traction during the war years.
By 1944 they’d enjoyed some success and had even made a few records, but their breakout occurred when they recorded a song they’d co-written with composer Buck Ram. The Three Suns’ rendition of “Twilight Time” became a huge hit, eventually selling four million records and becoming their signature song.
The Three Suns’ popularity continued in the post-war years as they sold a lot of records with similarly schmaltzy songs like “Peg o’ My Heart” and “Delicado,” but by the early 1950s the group was beginning to undergo changes that started with the defection of leading light Al Nevins. Although the following years would see periodic resurgences in popularity for new versions of the Three Suns, the original trio was history.