Arthur Russell

Genres: Disco Folk
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

Charles Arthur Russell, 1951, Oskaloosa, Iowa, USA, d. 4 April 1992, New York City, New York, USA. Although he was a classically trained cellist, Russell is best remembered as one of the true pioneers of disco and for his involvement with the Manhattan-based club scene in the late 70s. After completing his high school education, Russell headed straight to San Francisco in the early 70s where he joined a Buddhist commune. He would practice harmonizing his voice with his cello, a unique musical effect that later became a feature of his songwriting and productions. It was at the commune that Russell first worked with Allen Ginsberg, providing musical accompaniment for the poet’s spoken word performances. The effect he had on the commune spurred them to sell some of their possessions and send Russell to a local music school. It was at the San Francisco Conservatory and Ali Akbar Khan School that Russell really pushed the cello to unknown territories and drove him...

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