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Arthur Russell

Arthur Russell

Biography

Arthur Russell was an influential American musician, singer and composer originally from Oskaloosa, Iowa. He later lived on a Buddhist commune in San Francisco, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg, whose poetry readings Russell would accompany on cello. He also lived in New York City, where his career flourished but ended prematurely when he died of AIDS in 1992 at the age of 40. During the latter half of his life, he traveled within New York's burgeoning art, conceptual and dance music scenes, and he collaborated with luminary figures in the avant-garde, including Phillip Glass, Rhys Chatham and David Byrne. In 1980 Russell released a song called "Is It All Over My Face" under the name Loose Joints, a remix of which is considered an early influence on house music. He also released a disco track, "Kiss Me Again," under the name Dinosaur, and fronted a rock band, the Flying Hearts, which included Ernie Brooks of the Modern Lovers on bass. Russell wasn't widely known in his lifetime; his genius would only begin to be recognized post-mortem.
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