L. Russell Brown

Lawrence "Larry" Russell Brown[1] (born June 29, 1940), known as L. Russell Brown, is an American lyricist and composer. He is most noted for his songs, co-written with Irwin Levine, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree"[2] and "Knock Three Times"—international hits for the 1970s pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn. He also co-wrote "C'mon Marianne" for The Four Seasons, and The Partridge Family 1971 song, "I Woke Up In Love This Morning".

L. Russell Brown
Birth nameLawrence Russell Brown
Born (1940-06-29) June 29, 1940 (age 82)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresTraditional pop, rock and roll


Born in Newark, New Jersey,[3] Brown began his songwriting career when he was sixteen with the R&B label Fury Records. Co-writing with Ray Bloodworth in the mid-1960s, and working for Bob Crewe,[4] he wrote the hits "C'mon Marianne" and "Watch the Flowers Grow" for the Four Seasons.[5] "C'mon Marianne" featured in Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical. With Crewe, Brown also wrote "Sock It to Me Baby!", a 1967 hit for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.[5]

Brown started writing with Irwin Levine in 1970, and found success with several hits for the singing group Tony Orlando and Dawn, including "Knock Three Times", "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - both songs reaching #1 in the US and UK – and "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose". "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" appears in such films as Wallace and Gromitt, Fargo, and Forrest Gump, and has reputedly been recorded over one thousand times.[4] One of Brown's later successes as a writer was "Use It Up and Wear It Out", co-written with Sandy Linzer, which was a #1 hit in the UK for Odyssey in 1980.[5]

Other musicians who have recorded his songs include Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Lesley Gore, Ray Conniff, Johnny Mathis, and Donny Osmond.[3][4][5]

Copyright lawsuitEdit

A copyright lawsuit against Dua Lipa by songwriters Brown and Sandy Linzer "claimed that Levitating infringed on their 1979 disco song Wiggle and Giggle All Night".[6]


  1. ^ L. Russell Brown, SecondhandSongs.com
  2. ^ Paulson, Dave. "Story Behind the Song: 'Tie a Yellow Ribbon'". The Tennessean. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Biography, Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriting Festival, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015
  4. ^ a b c Gary James, "Interview with L. Russell Brown", ClassicBands.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015
  5. ^ a b c d Songs written by L. Russell Brown, MusicVF.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015
  6. ^ Kreps, Daniel (March 6, 2022). "Dua Lipa Hit With Second Copyright Lawsuit Over 'Levitating'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 12, 2022.

External linksEdit