Johnny Russell (singer)

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John Bright Russell (January 23, 1940 – July 3, 2001) was an American country singer, songwriter, and comedian best known for his song "Act Naturally", which was made famous by Buck Owens, who recorded it in 1963, and The Beatles in 1965. His songs have been recorded by Burl Ives, Jim Reeves, Jerry Garcia, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt.

Born in Moorhead, Mississippi, he moved with his family at age 11 to Fresno, California, where he began writing songs and entering talent contests while still in high school, graduating in 1958. He had his first song published that year, In a Mansion Stands My Love, which was recorded by Jim Reeves as the "B" side of his 1960 hit He'll Have to Go.

His recording of his song Rednecks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer was his only top 10 hit, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in October 1973. The song was nominated later that year for a Grammy Award. Russell is also known for hits such as The Baptism of Jesse Taylor, Catfish John, and Hello, I Love You.

Years later, George Strait topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with Russell's song Let's Fall to Pieces Together.

In 1987, Russell hosted his first annual concert in Moorhead, MS at the MS Delta Community College Coliseum. These went on for 13 years, his final on April 29, 2000.

By 2001, Russell's health had been in a state of decline (for years, he had used his obesity as a running joke on the Grand Ole Opry), and in April 2001, both of his legs were amputated because of diabetes. Russell died July 3, 2001 in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 61 from diabetes-related complications.

This page was last edited on 29 June 2017, at 00:11.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Russell_(singer) under CC BY-SA license.

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