Pee Wee Russell

Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell grew up in Muskogee learning to play the violin, piano, drums before deciding that the clarinet would be his primary instrument. With a distinct, unorthodox style, Mr. Russell was sometimes even accused of playing out of tune. Frequently in the recording studio on his clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano, alto or tenor sax, Mr. Russell worked with bandleaders Louis Prima, Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, and many more. Known for his quote, “…take each solo like it was the last one you were going to play in your life. What notes to hit and when to hit them…” his approach was ahead of its time.