Michelle Russell was born in Burbank, California to a theatrical family. Her mother, Marian, was a
dancer, and her father, David Russell, a writer.
Early in her life, Michelle became fascinated with Judy Garland and her story. In later years, she
would meet Garland's children and many of the persons who had known Judy and her family. Ms. Russell began to collect
many of the unusual stories they would tell.
In the mid-1990s when the opportunity came for Ms. Russell to pay tribute to the singer at the Judy
Garland Birthplace in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, she was eagar to do so. This soon led to more opportunities, including
research of the songs the Gumm family had sung in vaudeville and the creation of a living history program.
Always interested in early American music, Ms. Russell took on the task of producing a musical recording
of the Gumm's early songs. This recording, "Made In America - Vaudeville Songs" was released in 2002. A re-release with some
changes was put out in 2005 under the same title.
Ms. Russell has spent the last three years, working exclusively on From Tennessee to Oz. During
this time, half of each year was spent in Tennessee where the heart of the story takes place. Because of Ms. Russell's thorough
research and devotion to the subject, we believe this work will be a great addition, not only to Ms. Garland's history, but
to the history of Middle Tennessee.
A History of the Deppe & Ganser Families 1700 - 1986
Musical Memories - Songs the Gumm Family Sang 1895 - 1935
Made In America - Vaudeville Songs (CD Liner Notes)
Sabrina, The Autobiography of a Cat
From Tennessee to Oz
An Afternoon with the Gumm Family - 1925
Come & Get Your Happiness - Songs From the Films of
Made In America - Vaudeville Songs
Say It With Music - The Irving Berlin Story
Rutherford Writers Ink
Rutherford County Historical Society