He Took the Fall
Born in Radford, Virginia in 1946, with a great influence from his grand parents Reverend Elmer and Lummie Shelton, his roots began in gospel music. Joe began his music career at the age of 13 in Richmond Virginia. Joe recorded his first Rock album with the garage band "The Fugitives" formed by Joe's younger brother Mickey Russell, lead guitarist and band leader. The group recorded the album "On The Run" on the Justice Recording Company label in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The group members, Joe and Mickey Russell, Richard Donlavey, Jimmy Sickal, Tommy Sickal, Buster Byard. The group gained regional fame in the south in the late 60's. The album "On The Run" has been bought and now distributed by the Collectables Record company and can be purchased on the Oldies.com website. The Fugitives released several singles on the ShoeString record label (Richmond, Virginia). Mickey Russell and Richard Donlavey wrote the single "Theme of Love" and "What made you blue". They also released "Hey Bo Didley" which promoted the group to their regional fame. Joe moved to Atlanta where he met Donald Dunlavey and joined the Englishmen, playing bass, originally from Macon, Georgia. They later changed their name to "The Jammer Kids" Joe later signed with Bill Lowery Talent as a writer and recording artist. Allen Diggs booked the group throughout the south with a great group of artist, Dennis Yost, Billy Joe Royal, Tommy Roe, Dee Clark, and Joe South. The group journeyed deeper into the south and became successful in and around Monroe, Louisiana while working with G.G. Shinn and the Roller Coasters, The Boggie Kings, Chuck Jackson, and Bill Wray. During this time the group had gone through changes, Sonny Farmer, Robert Thames and Mike Foreman joined the group and recorded several projects in Atlanta at the Master Sound Studios. The songs were later released on a Independent label in 1972. In 1978 Joe recorded a country single on the Dove label. Joe's music history runs deep, while the best words to explain his career comes directly from Joe " I have been blessed to have met and worked with some of the most talented people of our era, the association alone has enriched my life". Joe's music expanded into gospel in January 1977 when he accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal savior. He has sense recorded 12 gospel albums. It all began with the Joe Russell Singers and the first album "Jesus Paid It All" The group included Johnny and Paula Keefer making up the trio. They recorded their first national gospel album on the Whiteline music label in 1984 produced by Joe Russell and Roger Fortner. The group was made up of John and Paula Keefer, Brian Raines, and Jim Hubbard. Their first single was "When I Cross Over" then came God's Gonna' Make Away, Call on Jesus, and Little bit deeper from the album. Joe makes his home in Las Vegas and is thankful for the success of several albums, "He Took the fall", "I was Glad' and Tribute to the "American Trucker". Joe is currently working with his musical friends and record producer Thomas "T-Bone" Demman of Sonsong recording studios in Las Vegas to promote the gospel through his music, giving voice to God's word in song. New Single out now Chicago, Gotta Stop This War...Coming soon 'Point The Way'...