Bob Russell (songwriter)


Bob Russell (songwriter)

Sidney Keith Russell, known as Bob Russell (25 April 1914 - February 1970) was an American songwriter born in Passaic, New Jersey. Although he was primarily a lyricist who collaborated with composers, he was, on occasion, a composer who collaborated with lyricists.

In 1968, Russell along with songwriting partner Quincy Jones was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Song category (for the film "Banning"). The following year, both he and Jones were nominated again in the same category (for the Sidney Poitier film "For Love of Ivy").

He attended Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) where he was roommates with Sidney Sheldon the novelist. Then Bob went to work as an advertising copywriter. He then turned to writing special material for vaudeville acts, and then for movie studios, ultimately writing complete scores for two movies: "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Reach for Glory." The latter of these received the Locarno International Film Festival prize in 1962. A number of other movies featured compositions by Russell: "Affair in Trinidad, Blue Gardenia, The Girl Can’t Help It, The Girl Most Likely, Matter of Who, Meet Captain Kidd, Sound-Off, That Midnight Kiss," and "Ticket to Tomahawk." In the movies "The Girl Most Likely, Blue Gardenia," and "Matter of Who," Russell's compositions included the title songs.

Among his collaborators were Lou Alter, Peter De Rose, Duke Ellington, Bronislaw Kaper, Lester Lee, Carl Sigman, Harold Spina, and Harry Warren.

In 1970 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Russell died from cancer in February of 1970. In 2004 he was posthumously awarded the ASCAP lifetime achievement award in "Pop" music.

Russell's wife, Hannah Russell (b.1913 d.2002), was also a composer of children's movies and songs. Bob Russell's brother-in-law was legendary songwriter Bud Green (b.1897 d.1981) who wrote such classics as Sentimental Journey, Once In A While, and Alabamy Bound. One of Russell's daughters, Simohn Spearitt (b.1945), is an author, who wrote Pink Rose Bush, a self-esteem book for children. She is also an artist who now resides in Mexico. His grandson is singer/songwriter/producer Luther Russell (b.1970). His granddaughter, who resides in Brooklyn, New York, is art director Savannah Spirit and founder of networking website for emerging artists, VEAUX (b.1975).

Published songs

Lyricist

*"Babalu"
*"Brazil" (wrote English language lyric to music by Ary Barroso)
*"Carnival" (Music by Harry Warren)
*"Circus" (music by Louis Alter)
*"Crazy He Calls Me" (Music by Carl Sigman)
*"Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" (Music by Duke Ellington)
*"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Music by Duke Ellington)
*"Frenesi" (Music by Alberto Dominguez, lyrics by Dominguez and Ray Charles as well as Russell)
*"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (Music by Bobby Scott)
*"I Didn't Know About You" (Music by Duke Ellington)
*"I Know, I Know, I Know" (Music by Bronislaw Kaper)
*"Like Love" (Music by Duke Ellington)
*"Maria Elena" (Music by Lorenzo Barcelata)
*"Misirlou" (collaboration with Fred Wise and Milton Leeds on English language lyric)
*"No Other Love" (Music by Paul Weston)
*"Taboo" (wrote English language lyric to music by Margarita Lecuona)
*"Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)" (Music by Harold Spina)
*"You Came a Long Way from St. Louis" (Music by John Benson Brooks)

Composer and lyricist

*"Busy as a Bee" (in collaboration with Joseph Meyer and Carl Sigman)
*"The Color of Love" (with Bronislaw Kaper)

(TBD)

*"Interlude"
*"It's the Beast in Me"
*"Just When We're Falling in Love"
*"A Lonesome Cup of Coffee"
*"Matinee"
*"No More" (collaboration with Toots Camarata)
*"Once"
*"Time Was (song)"
*"Watching the Clock"
*"You Go Your Way"

External links

*
* [http://www.jazzstandards.com/biographies/bob_russell.htm Bio on Jazz Standards site]


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