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Andy Russell - JPop.com
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Andy Russell

Andy Russell

Andy Russell


Andy Russell (September 16, 1919 - April 16, 1992) Born Andres Rabajos in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Andy Russell (who took his professional name from one of his idols, Russ Columbo,) acheived his greatest U.S. popularity in the 1940s. As with Columbo and Bing Crosby before him, he started out singing with Gus Arnheim's orchestra at the Cocoanut Grove, but, at only 13, he was so young that Arnheim had to become his legal guardian to permit him to travel out of state. Read more on Last.fm
Andy Russell (September 16, 1919 - April 16, 1992) Born Andres Rabajos in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Andy Russell (who took his professional name from one of his idols, Russ Columbo,) acheived his greatest U.S. popularity in the 1940s. As with Columbo and Bing Crosby before him, he started out singing with Gus Arnheim's orchestra at the Cocoanut Grove, but, at only 13, he was so young that Arnheim had to become his legal guardian to permit him to travel out of state. Possessed of a romantic baritone voice, he sang songs in English and Spanish, his biggest hits being Amor and Besame Mucho (Capitol: 1945). In 1946, he was asked to take the place of Frank Sinatra on the pop music radio program "Your Hit Parade" ( for which Sinatra returned in 1947) which led to increased popularity for the singer.

In the early 1950's, Russell appeared on early television with "Your Show Of Shows" with Sid Caesar for NBC, but recorded less frequently. By the early 50's, however, his hits had stopped and Capitol Records began to lose interest in him. Realizing that he commanded more popularity in Mexico than the U.S. he began performing there more frequently.

In the late 1950s, he re-located to Mexico City, and then to Argentina where he had a successful variety show that ran for seven years. He remained a U.S. citizen, however, and still made appearences in the U.S. from time to time.

Capitol's Latin American affiliated labels released new material by Andy in the 1960s, after his stint with RCA Victor. He also recorded for Orfeon. Andy returned to the United States in the late 60s and released two more albums for the parent Capitol label, one of which featured a Billboard Easy Listening Chart hit in 1968. It was a "cover" of label-mate Wynn Stewart's Country hit, It's Such a Pretty World Today, and served as the title song for the LP. Andy also appeared on public television fundraising specials well into the 1980s. Andy was especially proud of receiving an award from "Nosotros" magazine, acknowledging his special achievements as the first bilingual singer to reach the top of the charts with an Anglo audience and to popularize Latin American songs.

He surely paved the way for many other Latino singers, including Vikki Carr and even Ricky Martin! Andy passed away in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 72. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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