Bob Russell (songwriter)
In 1968, Russell along with songwriting partner Quincy Jones were nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Song category ("The Eyes Of Love" 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).
Russell attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was roommates with Sidney Sheldon the novelist. Russell went to work as an advertising copywriter. He then turned to writing special 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. A number of other movies featured compositions by Russell: Affair in Trinidad (1952), Blue Gardenia (1953), The Girl Can't Help It (1956), The Girl Most Likely (1957), A Matter of WHO, 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 (1961), Russell's compositions included the title songs.
He had his last hit song in 1969-70 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.
Hall of fame
Bob Russell died in 1970 from leukemia. He was survived by his wife, Hannah Russell (1913–2002), born in New York City. Hannah was a composer of children's movies and songs while living in London, England (1959–62) and is the author of SpaceSongs, A Children's Intergalactica Musical Journey. Bob Russell's brother-in-law was the important songwriter Bud Green (1897–1981), who wrote the standards "Sentimental Journey", "Once In A While", and "Alabamy Bound". One of Russell's three daughters, Simohn Spearitt (b. 1945) is an author who wrote Pink Rose Bush in 1986, and revised the book in 2015 as Pink Rosie (paperback and digital), a book for children intended to foster self-esteem and anti bullying. She is also an artist and watercolorist who now resides in Mexico with her husband Jefferey. His grandson is singer/songwriter/producer Luther Russell (b. 1970). His granddaughter is photographer Savannah Spirit (b. 1975) who resides in Brooklyn N.Y and is known for her flower, self-portrait, political and architectural photography. Other family members include Molly Hyman, retired (b. 1935), who with Hannah Russell formed the family publishing company, Harrison Music Corporation, and later went on to become President of the company. Harrison Music Corp. owned all of the Bob Russell catalog until 2009 when it was bought by Music Sales of the UK. His other daughter, Linda Smith (1943–2000), was a musician and artist.
- "Babalu" (music by written by Margarita Lecuona)
- "Ballerina" (music by Carl Sigman)
- "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 Domínguez, 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)
- "Interlude" (music by Pete Rugolo)
- "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 More" (with Tutti Camarata)
- "No Other Love" (music by Paul Weston after Frédéric Chopin)
- "Once" (1962 with Joanie Sommers and Bobby Troup Sextet) (music by Harold Spina)
- "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)
- "It's the Beast in Me"
- "Just When We're Falling in Love"
- "A Lonesome Cup of Coffee"
- "Matinee (song)|Matinee"
- "Time Was (song)"
- "Watching the Clock"
- "You Go Your Way"