Nashville, TN (September 21, 2022) Mojo Music & Media is proud to announce the signing of an administration deal with the Estate of Johnny Russell.
The songwriter, artist and comedian is best known for writing “Act Naturally”, a #1 Country hit for Buck Owens in 1963, which was famously covered by The Beatles a year later for their Help movie soundtrack in the UK and Yesterday And Today album in the US, peaking at #47 on the Pop chart. Ringo Starr and Buck Owens recorded a duet of the song in 1989 and were rewarded with a Top 30 Country single. Other well known covers have been recorded by Loretta Lynn, Leon Russell and Dwight Yoakam.
Mississippi-born Russell began writing songs at an early age, landing his first cut, Jim Reeves’ “In A Mansion Stands My Love”, while still in high school. After his success with “Act Naturally”, his songs yielded multiple singles through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s including Top 5’s with The Wilburn Brothers’ “Hurt Her Once For Me”, Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton’s “I’m Making Plans”, Gene Watson’s “Got No Reason Now For Going Home”, The Statler Brothers’ “You’ll Be Back (Every Night In My Dreams)” and the George Strait chart-topper “Let’s Fall To Pieces Together”. Russell enjoyed success as an artist, as well, recording a series of typically comedic story songs including the Grammy-nominated “Rednecks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer”, which went Top 5 Country in 1973, as well as the self-penned “Mr. Fiddle Man”, “Our Marriage Was A Failure” and “This Man And Woman Thing”, which also found their way to the charts. Russell’s natural acting ability and legendary humor-filled live shows led to multiple appearances on such national television programs as The Dinah Shore Show, The Dean Martin Show, Hee Haw and Nashville Now and helped him to become a mainstay at the Grand Old Opry, which formally inducted him in 1985. As a result of Johnny’s songwriting successes, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Mojo’s creative team, having collaborated on a marketing action plan with Johnny’s son, John Russell, Jr. have already pitched the Buck Owens version of “Act Naturally” into Murf The Surf, an upcoming Ron Howard/Brian Grazer produced docuseries on the life of infamous jewel thief Jack Murphy.
Said Mark Fried, Mojo’s Co-Founder and CEO, “We’re excited to join forces with John Russell, Jr. to help promote the work and story of Johnny Russell, a man whose many talents left a lasting impression on both songwriting and entertainment.”
According to John Russell, “My father’s music is his legacy and I feel a huge responsibility to do all that I can to continue to keep his music alive and relevant. This is why we partnered with Mark and his team at Mojo, we feel confident that they will do all that they can to promote dad’s music.”