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Bob Russell (b01/01/1914)

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.


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