"Thomas George "Tom" Russell" (born in 1950 in Los Angeles) is an American singer-songwriter. Although most identified with the country music tradition, his music also incorporates elements of folk, Tex-Mex and the cowboy music of the American West. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, Dave Alvin, Suzy Bogguss and more. In addition to his music, he is also a painter of folk art and has published a novel and a book of songwriting quotes co-authored with Sylvia Tyson.
Russell graduated from the University of California with a degree in criminology and taught school in Nigeria at the time of the Biafran War. He also lived in Spain and Norway and played music at a circus in Puerto Rico. He began his musical career in earnest in the early 1970s in Vancouver, playing strip bars. Later he relocated to Texas and formed a band with singer-pianist Patricia Hardin. They recorded two albums, but split in 1979, at which point Russell drifted out of the music industry.