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Rick Henry Talks with Russell Javors

Rhythm guitarist for Billy Joel

By Rick Henry ChristopherPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 3 min read
Rick Henry's Talk Show special guest Russell Javors

Russell Javors

I have known Russell Javors since 2007 and have interviewed him several times for various projects.

The video at the top of this page is an interview I did with Russell for my youtube show called Rick Henry's Talk Show.

The text that is on this page touches on some of what is discussed in the video. Although the video covers somethings not in the text and the text covers other things not in the video.

Russell Javors is best known for his work with superstar singer, songwriter, producer, pianist Billy Joel.

Javors played rhythm guitar for Billy Joel from 1976 to 1989 both in the studio and on the road. This means Russell Javors can be heard on all of Billy Joel's classic albums and hit singles. He also appears in the music videos.

Russell Javors and Billy Joel (circa 1978)

Shortly after recording Billy's 1978 album 52nd Street, Russell was commissioned to work on worldwide superstar Karen Carpenter's solo album. Karen recorded three songs written by Russell. Two of them made it onto the album; "All Because of You," which ended up with a slight country ballad feel and the sizzling new wave rocker "Still In Love With You."

In a previous interview I did with Russell he mentioned, "You can certainly learn a lot about a person when you are working so intimately with them. Karen Carpenter always projected a warm friendly aura. She was a nice person. She wasn't even remotely diva-like, although she did have a wardrobe case full of matching Nikes and sweat suits of every color."

One of the highlights in Russell's work with Billy Joel is his reggae tinged rhythm guitar part on the #1 hit from 1980 "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me."

"It's Still Rock and Roll To Me" was featured on Billy Joel's 1980 chart topping album Glass Houses. This album (and all the Billy Joel albums on which Russell Javors played, except Turnstiles) was produced by Phil Ramone. Russell says, "Phil Ramone was a brilliant engineer, a brilliant producer, and one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

On October 23, 2014, Russell Javors, Richie Cannata, and Liberty DeVitto (with Doug Stegmeyer, posthumously) were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, primarily for their work with Joel. Shortly thereafter, Javors, Cannata, and DeVitto officially formed The Lords of 52nd Street band; the band also includes a pianist and lead vocalist, keyboardist, and a guitarist, and plays faithful renditions of the recorded Billy Joel originals.

During the height of the pandemic The Lords did a few drive-in shows. They bill themselves as The Lords of 52nd Street: The Legendary Billy Joel Band. The band is in their seventh year and they are at the beginning of their 2022 Spring/Summer Tour.

More recently Russell has helped to promote The Phil Ramone Orchestra. Phil Ramone's dream was to bring music to the lives of children, especially to those in under-served areas. He believed that the power of music could heal and transform lives — for that reason, he wanted to see the creation of orchestras worldwide whose purpose would be to enrich the lives of boys and girls everywhere. That’s one of the reasons he chose to help create The Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children.

Russell Javors has worked with many legendary musicians throughout his career despite his success and connections Javors has remained a humble man and true to his family and friends. Russell is the type of man who treats his fans and journalists like friends. He is ever gracious.

Russell worked on the following Billy Joel albums:

Turnstiles (1976)

The Stranger (1977) (one track only)

52nd Street (1978)

Glass Houses (1980)

The Nylon Curtain (1982)

An Innocent Man (1983)

The Bridge (1986)


If you wish to view more episodes of Rick Henry's Talk Show: CLICK HERE

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About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.

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