60s Music

Russell Arms and His Hit “Cinco Robles”

Russell Arms
Photo of singer-actor Russell Arms from the television program Your Hit Parade, where he was a permanent cast member. (Source: Wikipedia)

Introduction to Russell Arms

Russell Arms (Russell Lee Arms, February 3, 1920 – February 23, 2012) was born in Berkeley, California and is best known as an American actor and singer.  Mr. Arms is probably best known as a vocalist on the NBC television series “Your Hit Parade” from 1952 – 1957.  Mr. Arms was also an actor playing minor rolls in several movies such as “Cover Up”, “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (starring Doris Day), “Wings for the Eagle” (starring Ann Sheridan) and “Loaded Pistols” (starring Gene Autry).  Just when Mr. Arms acting career was starting to flourish WW II started and he was in the army.  When he was released he could get only small parts in major films so he moved on to B-Movies (mostly westerns).  He was encouraged to begin singing by singer/actress Marilyn Maxell and eventually signed on with the television series “Your Hit Parade” alongside many other popular vocalists such as Snooky Lanson, Gisele MacKenzie, Dorothy Collins, Raymond Scott, June Valli and Eileen Wilson.  During this time he had a Top 40 hit single with the 1957 Era Records “Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)”  (#22 The Billboard Top 40)The show’s popularity faded in the late 1950’s with popularity of rock and roll and ended after the 1959 season.  In 2005 Mr. Arms authored his autobiography My Hit Parade … and a Few Misses.  After “Your Hit Parade” Mr. Arms was a guest on many television shows such as “Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Hardcastle and McCormack,” “Dragnet,” “Perry Mason,” “December Bride,” “Lock Up” and “Rawhide.”  Other Russell Arms hit songs:  “Is There a Heaven,” “Share My Love,” “Evangeline,” “Where Can a Wanderer Go,” “On a Little Street In Singapore,” “Along the Colorado Trail,” “Moon Over Miami,” “Blue Hawaii,” “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square,” “The River Seine,” “How Are Things In Glocca Mora,” “April In Portugal,” “Autumn In Rome,” “The Bridge of San Angelo,” “Wanderer Theme and Home,” “The Gal That Got Away,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Love Birds,” “The More I See You,” “You Turned the Tables on Me,” “It’s Easy to Remember,” “They Didn’t Believe Me,” “Just Because” & For Every Man There’s a Woman.”

 

Early life and career

Russell Arms, whose song “Cinco Robles” became a pop chart smash in during the mid-50s music era, was born Russell Lee Arms on February 3, 1920 in Berkeley, California. From 1941 to 1946, he completed his military years of the Signal Corps OCS program of Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey and again from 1951 to 1953 at Ft. Monmouth. Arms primarily worked on radio stations, as well as at WNEW in New York City. As an actor, he first set foot on stage of the Pasadena Playhouse. During World War II, he shifted to minor screen roles and made appearances in both films and on television. In 1952, he made a name as a vocalist on NBC’s television music program, Your Hit Parade. He continued doing the job until 1957.

 

Russell Arm’s “Cinco Robles”

In 1957, Arms signed a deal with Era Records where he cut an LP called Where Can a Wanderer Go. The album includes the carrier single “Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)” which would become hit in that same year. “Cinco Robles” entered the charts on January 12, 1957 and enjoyed its stay for 15 weeks at its peak position at #22. He also became a singer on The Hidden Treasure Show, the first quiz show which involved the participation of home viewers to win cash prizes.

Unfortunately, we cannot find the Youtube video of Russell Arms’ “Cinco Robles” at the moment.

 

 

Arms’ personal life and his death

In Arms’ later years, he was living with his second wife Mary Lynne in Palm Springs, California. After that, they relocated to Hamilton, Illinois where he also spent his last days. On February 13, 2012, Russell Arms died at the age of 92.

 

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