RUSC Radio - US Presidents

Henry Russell

Show Count: 56
Series Count: 4
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: December 24, 1812, Sheerness, England
Died: December 8, 1900, London, England, UK

Henry Russell (24 December 1812 or 1813 – 8 December 1900) was an English pianist, baritone singer and composer, born into a distinguished Jewish family.


In an eventful life on both sides of the Atlantic, Russell wrote the songs "A Life on the Ocean Wave" and the tune to George Pope Morris's poem Woodman, Spare that Tree while living in United States from 1835 to 1841, before settling in London to produce musical extravaganzas until he retired in 1857. Many of his songs championed social causes like abolition, temperance, and reform of mental asylums.

Russell was born in Sheerness, Kent, a great-nephew of the British Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel. He began his career as a child singer in Elliston’s Children’s Opera company. While playing the organ at the Presbyterian church in Rochester, New York he discovered that sacred music, played quickly, "makes the best kind of secular music". Old Hundredth, played very fast, became the music for "Get Out of de Way, Ol' Dan Tucker".

Russell's song "The Fine Old English Gentleman" 1831 was made fun of ten years later by Charles Dickens in his identically titled song.

In 1841, he returned to England and performed at the Hanover Square Rooms in London with instant success. Many of his songs were written to lyrics by Charles Mackay, including "There's a Good Time Coming", "Cheer, Boys, Cheer", and "To The West". The Hutchinson Family Singers were fans of Russell's work and performed several of his tunes, including "The Maniac" and "The Ship On Fire."

After retirement he lived partly in France, partly in England. His first wife was Christian; his second wife was Jewish and their family (including their sons, conductor Sir Landon Ronald and impresario Henry Russell) was raised in the Jewish religion.

His portrait was painted by the British painter Walter Goodman and displayed in London at the Institute of Oil Painters in 1889 and at The Grafton Galleries in 1897. The Jewish Chronicle of 21 May that year describes the painting as depicting Russell hale and hearty with flowing beard. He died in London, aged 86 or 87.

A detailed biography, A Life on the Ocean Wave: The Story of Henry Russell by Andrew Lamb, was published by Fullers Wood Press in 2007.

Source: Wikipedia

Fitch BandwagonFitch Bandwagon
Show Count: 11
Broadcast History: 4 September 1938 to 17 June 1945, 23 September 1945 to 16 June 1946, and 29 September 1946 to 23 May 1948
Sponsor: Fitch Shampoo
Cast: Alice Faye, Phil Harris, Eddie Cantor, Andy Devine, Cass Daley, Francis Trout, Henry Russell, Elliott Lewis, Robert North, Jeanine Roose, Anne Whitfield, Walter Tetley
Director: Paul Phillips
Producer: Ward Byron, Bill Lawrence
Host: Dick Powell
Halls Of Ivy, TheHalls Of Ivy, The
Show Count: 84
Broadcast History: 6 June 1950 to 6 January 1952
Cast: Arthur Q. Bryan, Willard Waterman, Ronald Colman, Benita Hume Colman, Alan Reed, Herb Butterfield, Elizabeth Patterson, Gloria Gordon, Jerry Hausner, Paula Winslowe, Raymond Lawrence, Sheldon Leonard, Herb Vigran, Ken Christy, Jean Vander Pyl, Jeffrey Silver, Johnny McGovern, Charles Seel, Bob Seeney, Virginia Gregg, Rolfe Sedan
Director: Nat Wolff
Producer: Don Quinn, Nat Wolff
A situation comedy show, which follows the daily trials and tribulations of a college president in a small American College. It ran for two seasons from 1950 to 1952 and was aired at 8pm initially on Fridays and then on a Wednesday evening for the second season.
Screen Directors' Playhouse, TheScreen Directors' Playhouse, The
Show Count: 108
Broadcast History: 9 January 1949 to 28 September 1951
Director: Bill Karn
Producer: Howard Wylie
Sealtest Variety TheaterSealtest Variety Theater
Show Count: 38
Broadcast History: 6 July to 28 September 1947 and 9 September 1948 to 7 July 1949
Cast: Dorothy Lamour
Director: Glenhall Taylor