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(b 1914 )

Sidney Keith Russell
Composer, Lyrist

Bob Russell wrote for vaudeville, worked as a copywriter, and published his first song in 1939, introduced by Helen Forrest with Benny Goodman. His collaboration with Duke Ellington produced the standards “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (1943) and “I Didn’t Know About You” (1944).

Russell also wrote lyrics for several foreign compositions, all number one hits. “Frenesi” (Alberto Dominquez), a 1940 collaboration with Ray Charles, belonged to Artie Shaw. “Maria Elena” (Lorenzo Barcelata) was popularized by Bob Eberly with Tommy Dorsey (1941). “Brazil” (Ary Barroso) made the charts with Xavier Cugat and Jimmy Dorsey (1943) and appeared in several movies. Of Ernesto Lecuona’s many popular compositions, Russell supplied lyrics for “Taboo” and “Babalu” (1941), a hit for Cugat and later, Desi Arnaz.

With Carl Sigman he had hits with “Ballerina” (1947), a Vaughan Monroe favorite, and “Crazy He Calls Me” (1949) written for Billie Holiday. “You Came a Long Way from St. Louis,” with John Benson Brooks (1962), enjoyed a second life with the 1959 Peggy Lee/George Shearing recording. “No Other Love” (1950), based on a Chopin etude and written with Paul Weston, was a hit for Jo Stafford. Kay Starr made a splash with “Half a Photograph” (1953), written with Hal Stanley, and the fairly obscure “Circus,” written with Louis Alter (1949), was recorded by several jazz artists, Tony Martin and the Four Freshmen.

Russell’s film collaborations with Quincy Jones won Oscar nominations for “The Eyes of Love” from Banning (1967) and the title cut of For Love of Ivy (1968). He also wrote the title cut forBlue Gardenia (1953) and the theme song for TV’s “Wagon Train” (1957). In 1969 he supplied lyrics for Bobby Scott’s “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Classical Composer | Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 7: 1957 Pop, Part 2 Naxos Rock Legends
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BASIE, Count: Circus In Rhythm (Radio Transcriptions and Service V-Discs, 1944-1945) (Basie, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
CROSBY, Bing: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (1927-1931) Naxos Nostalgia
DIBUSSOLO, Frank: Straight Up Naxos Jazz
Contemporary Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Cotton Tail (1940) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 7) Naxos Jazz Legends
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing, Sing, Sing (1937-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
HERMAN, Woody: Get Your Boots Laced Papa! (1938-1943) Naxos Jazz Legends
INK SPOTS: Gettin' Sentimental (1939-1945) Naxos Nostalgia
LANZA, Mario: Mario Lanza (1949-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
Remembering Duke Ellington Naxos
Remembering Duke Ellington Naxos International
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Interlude (1944-1947) Naxos Jazz Legends
Role: Lyricist 
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