Bob Russell

You Came a Long Way From St. LouisPerry Como ~ Mr. Saturday Night!

Bob Russell (April 25, 1914 February 1970) was an American songwriter (mainly lyricist) born Sidney Keith Rosenthal in Passaic, New Jersey.

Russell attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He worked as an advertising copywriter in New York; for a time, his roommate there was Sidney Sheldon, later a novelist. He turned to writing material for vaudeville acts, and then for film studios, ultimately writing complete scores for two movies: Jack and the Beanstalk and Reach for Glory. The latter film received the Locarno International Film Festival prize in 1962. Several other movies featured compositions by Russell, including Affair in Trinidad (1952), Blue Gardenia (1953), The Girl Can't Help It (1956), The Girl Most Likely (1957), A Matter of WHO (1961), Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952), Sound Off (1952), That Midnight Kiss (1949), and A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950). In the movies The Girl Most Likely, Blue Gardenia and Matter of WHO, Russell's compositions included the title songs.

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

He had his last hit song in 196970 with "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", co-written with Bobby Scott and recorded by The Hollies. The song was introduced to the group by Russell's son-in-law Jefferey Spearitt, who was living in London at the time with his wife Simohn.

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

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Monday, January 18, 2021