(19 April 1941
— 19 november 1992
) was an American song writer
Russell wrote several hits
, including "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
," his critique of country justice (a major hit for his then-wife Vicki Lawrence
, to whom he was married from 1972 to 1974); "Used To Be" (from the movie The Grasshopper
); and "Little Green Apples," which won him a Song of the Year Grammy Award
in 1968 from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
. He also wrote and performed a major hit in 1971 about a suburban father nursing a hangover while his children raise Cain on a Saturday morning, appropriately called "Saturday Morning Confusion."
Another of his songs, "1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero," also explored the family life of an everyday man. He also penned the smash hit "Honey" for Bobby Goldsboro. Other songs that Russell recorded himself were "For a While We Helped Each Other Out" and "Our Love's Gonna Rise Up Again." He also wrote "Summer Sweet," for the Disney live-action film, Rascal (1969). The B-side of "Summer Sweet" was "Better Homes and Gardens," foreshadowing the suburban theme of his later hits.
Contrary to popular belief, he did not write "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother." That song was co-written by another writer named Bob Russell.
Russell died in 1992 in Nicholasville, Kentucky of coronary artery disease, aged 51.