Andy Russell


Andy Russell (September 16, 1919-April 16, 1992) was an American popular vocalist, specializing in traditional pop and Latin music. He was born Andrés Rabago Pérez in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles. He was one of ten children (eight boys, two girls) born to parents who were Mexican immigrants of Spanish descent. Already as a teenager he had begun to perform as a vocalist and drummer with a local band headed by Don Ramon Cruz. In the early forties he Anglicized his name (Andy was obvious, but "Russell" was after the singer Russ Columbo). He became vocalist and drummer with the bands of Johnny Richards, Gus Arnheim, Sonny Dunham, and Alvino Rey. By 1944, he had become well enough regarded a pop vocalist to be featured on radio, and in the next year had his Old Gold Show. He also signed on with Capitol Records. His first charted hit was "Bésame Mucho" (Capitol #149, 1944). The same year he had his biggest hit, which became his signature tune, "Amor" (Capitol #156, with the flip side "The Day After Forever") from the film "Broadway Rhythm". He had two more hits that year: "What a Difference a Day Made" (Capitol #167, paired with "Don't You Notice Anything New ") and "I Dream of You"/"Magic Is Moonlight" (Capitol #175). He had another big hit in 1946 with "I Can't Begin to Tell You" (Capitol #221) from the film "The Dolly Sisters." This became the fourth top ten seller in the country for Russell in less than two years and the big time was calling. The next big hit came later in 1946: a two-sided hit with "Laughing on the Outside" and "They Say It's Wonderful" (from the Broadway show Annie Get Your Gun) (Capitol #252). His next hit was "Pretending" (Capitol #271, backed with "Who Do You Love") was another top-ten seller. He was also invited to Hollywood and screen tested for motion pictures. In 1946 he appeared in The Stork Club and Breakfast In Hollywood. He was on the soundtrack of Walt Disney's Make Mine Music, and appeared in the picture Copacabana the next year. In 1946, the people running the pop music radio program Your Hit Parade asked him to take the place of Frank Sinatra (Sinatra returned in 1947). This led to increased popularity for the singer. He died in Sun City, Arizona. He was buried in the Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton, California. Description above from the Wikipedia article Andy Russell (singer), licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.