Russell B. Cooley Sr. is a singer, songwriter who hails from Providence, Rhode Island.
The youngest of 6 children, Russ’ love for music began as a child through the entrepreneurship of his uncle Al Fisher who owned an entertainment venue in Providence, RI. He would watch many national, regional and notable local bands of the day perform during matinee shows including Boston’s very own, The Energetics, who went on to fame as the vocal quintet Planet Patrol (Tommy Boy Records). This was where his passion for music and desire to sing began.
Russ began to develop his voice by singing with local groups and bands around the Rhode Island music scene. A brief encounter with a national act in California afforded Russ an opportunity to perform as a backup singer. The experience was a valuable lesson which influenced his desire to learn other aspects of the entertainment industry.
Due to the perils of life’s choices, Russ took a hiatus from music and sought refuge in a ministry for men called New England Teen Challenge. It was there where Russ began his spiritual journey of faith, hope and trust in God. During his tenure there, Russ used his talents and ability to communicate in song by participating in the men’s choir called The Challengers. The ministry team’s presentation of songs and testimonies enabled them to travel to various church events and concerts across the eastern seaboard. He also became inspired to write his first song which he contributed to the recording of the Challengers’ debut album. Russ then continued his journey in ministry, serving as choir director for the Teen Challenge New Haven, CT campus. The training he received at the New England campus prepared him for this endeavor to not only lead the men’s choir but to participate in other senior staff duties as well.
His testimony today is one of love and redemption which he shares with all who will listen. He states: “Music is the key that opens the door of the heart in order to receive words of life that bring healing to a life worth living.”
Today, Russ is enjoying life as the newest member of Planet Patrol where his talent, vocal ability, energy, and spiritual maturity will all play a part in the “Continuum” for 2018 and beyond.