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Bob Russell

Sidney Keith Russell
S. K. Russell

Composer, Lyricist, Advertising Copywriter

(1914 - 1970)

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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 Tony Martin, the Four Freshmen, and a handful of jazz artists.

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 for Blue 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

All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio

Diana Krall Includes "Do Nothing..."

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Rob McConnell

I Didn't Know About You

Karrin Allyson

Artie Shaw - Greatest Hits

Artie Shaw Includes "Frenesi"

Brazilian Classics

Eliane Elias Includes "Brazil"

Waves: Bossa Nova Session

Eden Atwood Includes "Brazil"

Lover Man

Billie Holiday Includes "Crazy He Calls Me"

Beauty & The Beat

Peggy Lee, George Shearing Includes "You Came a Long Way..."

Blue Gardenia

Dinah Washington

Blue Gardenia

Tito Puente and Woody Herman

Love Songs

Duke Ellington Includes "Do Nothing..."
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Anne Baxter, Richard Conte

The Blue Gardenia (1953)


Sidney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln

For Love of Ivy (1968)


Kaye Ballard

Girl Most Likely

Interglobal Home Video

VHS Russell wrote title song

A Matter of WHO

Movies Unlimited

VHS Russell wrote title song

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