Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Country Singer Johnny Russell Dies

Expand Messages
  • Abbey
    Country Singer Johnny Russell Dies The Associated Press Jul 3 2001 1:54PM NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Grand Ole Opry star Johnny Russell, whose song ``Act
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2001
      Country Singer Johnny Russell Dies
      The Associated Press
      Jul 3 2001 1:54PM

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Grand Ole Opry star Johnny Russell, whose song ``Act
      Naturally'' was recorded by Buck Owens and the Beatles, died Tuesday. He was
      61.
      The singer, songwriter and comedian, who had battled leukemia, diabetes and
      other ailments, was surrounded by his family and friends when he died, said
      Baptist Hospital spokeswoman Jessica Etz.

      Russell once said that it took him two years to get someone to record ``Act
      Naturally,'' co-written with Voni Morrison.

      When Owens recorded a version in 1963, it went to No. 1 on the country
      charts. Two years later, it was recorded by the Beatles, with Ringo Starr
      singing the vocal. In 1989, Starr and Owens recorded a duet of the song that
      was nominated for Grammy and Country Music Association awards.

      ``They (the Beatles) were so big, and it was such a big point in Buck's
      career, that it has been very satisfying to have been a part of it,''
      Russell said in a 1988 Associated Press interview.

      ``It was a once in a lifetime thing. I'm just a little ol' country
      songwriter.''

      Russell's own recording career took off in the 1970s. His biggest hit was
      the working class anthem ``Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,''
      which went to No. 4 in 1973 and was nominated for a Grammy.

      Russell joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1985, and over the years
      became its regular closing act. A jolly, 275-pound man, he would joke to
      audiences in his opening line: ``Can everybody see me all right?''

      Russell also wrote the No. 1 hit ``Let's Fall to Pieces Together,'' recorded
      in 1984 by George Strait, and ``Making Plans,'' which was recorded by Dolly
      Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt on their ``Trio'' album in 1987.

      Born in Moorhead, Miss., in 1940, Russell began recording as a teen-ager in
      California. One of his early songs, ``In a Mansion Stands My Love,'' was
      later recorded by Jim Reeves and became the flip side to Reeves' No. 1 hit
      ``He'll Have to Go.''

      Russell is survived by his son, John Jr.; daughter, Julie Morris; four
      grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.