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Andy Russell
"Themes Only For Lovers"

© OK

June 30 - 06, 2019

Year of Release: 2007
  • Tema De Amor De El Padrino
  • I Only Have Eyes For You
  • Cheek To Cheek
  • You Belong To Me
  • Around The World In 80 Days
  • Love Is A Many
    Splendored Thing
  • With A Song In My Heart
  • A Certain Smile
  • I'm In The Mood For Love
  • Three Coins In The Fountain
  • It's Such A Pretty World Today
  • It's Been A Long Long Time
  • Mary In The Morning
  • Release Me
  • Lady
  • Try To Remember
  • Summer Roses
  • Welcome To My World
  • This Is My Song
  • MY Cup Runneth Over
  • I Love You And You Love Me
  • Send Me The Pillow
    You Dream On
  • Magic Is The Moonlight
  • Besame Mucho

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    We (WSVNRadio) recently added the #1 songs from Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Starting in 1961, we currently have all the songs up to 2005. (This will be updated to our current year, eventually.) One of those #1 songs, was from Andy Russell -- "It's Such A Pretty World Today" (which was a #1 Country song, for Wynn Stewart). Andy Russell was a singing crooner, such as TOny Bennett, Al Martino, Andy Williams, etc. He sang many songs in both Spanish and English.

    His interest in music was listening to American popular music. The Big Band era, with artists such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey. He admired the singing crooners, such as Dick Powell, Jack Leonard, and Bing Crosby (he would become good friends with Bing). At the age of 15, he was already singing with a local swing band, lead by Don Ramon Cruz. Members of Cruz's band were of AMerican and Mexican descent, and played mostly in East Los ANgeles. Rusell sang with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, until he was told that he had to take up an instrument, to stay in the band. He explained he was a singer, and was told he was making too much money ($2.00 - $2.50 a night). Andy didn't play an instruemtn, and asked which one to play. They said the drums would be the easiest. He then practiced, took lessons, and became more serious, and became a good-enough drummer to play with other bands. He would then get to sing as well.

    Band leader Gus Arnheim would add Andy into his band, as drummer and vocalist. However, Andy was underage, so Arheim appointed himself as ANdy's legal guardian. Arnheim suggested that Andy sing both English and Spanish. Russell's spanish knowledge was weak, and was embarrased by it. Arnheim said "Do something different, and people will take notice." Arnheim suggested to have Andy change his name. His real name was Andres Rabago. "Rabago" "just didn't have a ring to it, it has to go." They decided on Andy - from the name Andres. However, Arnheim knew of a singer, who had replaced Bing Crosby -- Russell Columbo. Therefore, "Russell" would be Andy's new last name -- Andy Russell. Andy played with Arnheim's band for four years. During that time, he was offered to join other bands, such those lead by Paul Whiteman, Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and others. Dorsey wanted Andy to be just the drummer; he had a new singer by the name of Frank Sinatra. Andy declkned the offer, and played with Alvino Rey. During his performing with Rey, he was approached by Johnny Mercer, and was asked to record with Mercer's label, Captiol Records. "Besame Mucho" would be his first hit in 1943, (of which Dimmy Dorsey also recorded, and took to #1, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen as vocalists; Andy's version went as high as #8.) Andy Russell's career as a singer began, and would continue for throughout the 1950s through 1980s. Being of Mexican descent, he would record and perform in Latin American countries, singing Spanish. He retired in 1989.

    Theme Songs Only For Lovers covers crooning style songs by Andy Russell, as many of them were recorded (and well-known) by other singers. Most of them are sung in both Spanish, the gradually singing in English. "Tema De Amor De El Padrino" is really "Speak Softly Love" from The Godfather movie. Other well-known songs are "I Only Have Eyes For You" (The Flamingos), "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (The Four Aces), "It's Been A Long Long Time" (Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, with Les Paul on guitar), "Release Me" (Engelbert Humperdinck). And speaking of Engelbert, "This Is My Song" is another song covered by Russell, which was also recorded by Engelbert. "My Cup Runneth Over" is another song, that was covered by many pre-Rock, Big Band artists.

    Other well-known songs were from the Big Band era: "Cheek To Cheek" (Tony Bennett); better known as "Heaven, I'm In Heaven" rrom what I remember. Around The World In 80 Days was another well-remembered song, from the movie of the same name. "I'm In The Mood For Love," "Three Coins In The Fountain," "Around The World In 80 Days" is where these songs are sung with Spanish and English verses. Al Martino's version of "Mary In The Morning" would reached #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. And speaking of Al Martino, RUssell's "I Love You And You Love Me" sounds like Martino's "Spanish Eyes."

    Russell's combination of English and Spanish lyrics are done quite well, such as the Godfather tune, and "With A Song In My Heart." There are various songs throughout this compilation, that has this feature, of English and Spanish. Songs such as "Summer Roses" and "Welcom To My World" has Russell in a country atmosphere. Although, "Welcome To My World" has been covered by well-known Country artists, Eddy Arnold most likely the most popular. Russell's version of the Eddy Arnold classic can easily fit the Adult Contermporary format. And speaking of Country, another covered Country song here, is "Send Me The Pillow You Dream On."

    As for the remaining, these are songs that I just didn't seem to remember: "You Belong To Me," "A Certain Smile," "Lady" (which I found, that Jack Jones had covered), "Try To Remember" (which I kinda remembered), and "Magic Is The Moonlight."

    Andy Russell passed away from complications of a stroke, in 1992. He was 72. He was married five times,

    Andy Russell may not have been a well-known name as other recognizable crooners, yet his music is truly remarkable. Themes Only For Lovers is a great album, easily fitting those well-known crooners we all know and love. His English and Spanish songs are the standouts.

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