L. Russell Brown

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For other people named Russell Brown, see Russell Brown (disambiguation).
L. Russell Brown
Birth name Lawrence Russell Brown
Born (1940-06-29) June 29, 1940 (age 75)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
Genres Traditional pop, rock and roll
Occupation(s) Songwriter
Associated acts The Four Seasons
Tony Orlando and Dawn

Lawrence "Larry" Russell Brown[1] (born 29 June 1940), known as L. Russell Brown, is an American lyricist and composer. He is most noted for his songs, co-written with Irwin Levine, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" and "Knock Three Times" for the 1970s pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn. He also co-wrote "C'mon Marianne" for The Four Seasons, and The Partridge Family 1971 song, "I Woke Up In Love This Morning".


Born in Newark, New Jersey,[2] Brown began his songwriting career when he was sixteen with the R&B label Fury Records. Co-writing with Ray Bloodworth in the mid-1960s, and working for Bob Crewe,[3] he wrote the hits "C'mon Marianne" and "Watch the Flowers Grow" for the Four Seasons.[4] "C'mon Marianne" featured in Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical. With Crewe, Brown also wrote "Sock It to Me Baby!", a 1967 hit for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.[4]

Brown started writing with Irwin Levine in 1970, and found success with several hits for Dawn, including "Knock Three Times", "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - both songs reaching #1 in the US and UK - and "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose". "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" appears in such films as Wallace and Gromitt, Fargo, and Forrest Gump, and has reputedly been recorded over one thousand times.[3] One of Brown's later successes as a writer was "Use It Up and Wear It Out", co-written with Sandy Linzer, which was a #1 hit in the UK for Odyssey in 1980.[4]

Over the course of fifty years of songwriting, Brown's recordings have sold millions of records.[citation needed] Other musicians who have recorded his songs include Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Lesley Gore, Johnny Mathis and Donny Osmond.[4][3][2]


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