Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Leon Russell isn’t a reputation that informal music followers will know today. However for individuals who know (and people seeking to discover out extra), it’s nearly exhausting to fathom his contribution to rock music. The Grammy Award winner and member of the Roll and Roll Corridor of Fame left us on November 13, 2016, on the age of 74, however his legacy lives on.

Born Claude Russell Bridges, he modified his title to Leon Russell when he moved to Los Angeles from his house in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His 60-year profession embraced spells as a celebrated session musician and included writing a few of rock’s most memorable songs, akin to “A Tune for You’ and “Delta Woman.” People who Leon labored with included George Harrison, Elton John, Joe Cocker, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Ringo Starr.

Russell moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the place he labored on classes for the Byrds, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Bobby “Boris” Pickett and Herb Alpert; he appeared at 1964’s T.A.M.I. Present, enjoying piano with the top-drawer session musicians often called the Wrecking Crew. He wrote two hits for Gary Lewis and Playboys and by 1967 he appeared on the Glen Campbell album, Mild on My Thoughts, credited by his start title, Russell Bridges.

Look Contained in the Asylum Choir, a 1968 album, was a recording of a studio group together with Russell and Marc Benno. The next yr, Russell turned a member of Delaney & Bonnie and Mates, enjoying guitar and keyboards on their albums and as a member of their touring band that included Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

Russell discovered additional success as a songwriter with “Delta Woman,” recorded by Cocker for his 1969 album, Joe Cocker! The album, co-produced by Russell, made No.11 on the Billboard chart. This led to Russell becoming a member of 1970’s Mad Canines and Englishmen tour that includes many alumni from the Delaney and Bonnie band. “Famous person,” co-written by Russell with Bonnie Bramlett and sung by Rita Coolidge on that tour, later turned successful for the Carpenters, Luther Vandross, and lots of others.

Shelter Information launched his 1970 solo album, Leon Russell, which included the primary recording of “A Tune for You.” This has been endlessly recorded by numerous performers from Ray Charles to Willie Nelson in addition to Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway, Merely Pink and Michael Bublé. It was additionally in 1970 that Russell performed piano on Dave Mason’s album, Alone Collectively.

In 1971 Russell produced some tracks for Dylan, together with the one “Watching the River Movement” and “Once I Paint My Masterpiece,” each of which characteristic Leon’s gospel-flavored piano. Later that yr he performed piano on Badfinger’s third album, Straight Up; his keyboard enjoying additionally enhances Pete Ham and George Harrison’s slide guitars on the group’s hit “Day After Day.” It was presently that Russell appeared on Harrison’s Live performance for Bangladesh, at which he carried out a medley together with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Younger Blood” and sang a verse on Harrison’s “Watch out for Darkness.”

Additionally in 1971 Russell launched Leon Russell and the Shelter Folks and Asylum Choir II and performed on classes for B.B. King and for Clapton. He additionally helped blues guitarist Freddie King by collaborating with him on three of his albums for Shelter Information.

In 1972 Russell’s Shelter Folks took to the highway and a dwell efficiency was recorded and launched because the Leon Stay album in 1973. The yr earlier than, he launched his third studio album Carney, which options “Tight Rope” and the gorgeous “This Masquerade.” The latter ballad was recorded by quite a few artists together with Helen Reddy and the Carpenters; George Benson’s model reached No. 10 on the Scorching 100 and in 1977 received a Grammy Award for Document of the Yr.

Russell launched Hank Wilson’s Again! (Vol. 1), recorded in Nashville in 1973; incongruously, he additionally helped the funk-soul outfit the Hole Band, based mostly across the trio of Tulsa brothers who backed Leon on his Cease All That Jazz album. The next yr, Will O’ the Wisp turned Russell’s fourth gold album.

Leon fashioned his personal label, Paradise Information, in 1976 and over the approaching many years recorded a string of albums, however none achieved the prominence of his early recordings. Russell and Willie Nelson had a No.1 on the nation music chart in 1979 with their duet of “Heartbreak Resort.” By the early Nineteen Eighties, he was working as New Grass Revival and in 1984 launched Hank Wilson Vol. II.

In 1991, Russell launched Something Can Occur on Virgin Information, produced by Bruce Hornsby, and the 2 of them labored intently collectively all through the last decade. Into the brand new millennium, Russell was nonetheless releasing information nevertheless it was in 2009 {that a} main new venture got here alongside when he and Elton John recorded the album The Union collectively, produced by T-Bone Burnett and launched the next yr. Rolling Stone positioned it at No.3 on its checklist of the 30 finest albums of 2010. In 2011 the Union movie documentary was launched; made by Cameron Crowe, it explored the inventive course of behind the file.

In 2014, Life Journey, made with producer Tommy LiPuma, was launched, and the next yr Russell joined Rita Coolidge, Claudia Lennear, Chris Stainton, and different members of the 1970 Joe Cocker Mad Canines and Englishmen tour for a tribute live performance to Cocker organized by the Tedeschi Vehicles Band.

Leon Russell was a significant expertise, releasing effectively over 30 albums throughout his profession. Whereas he did get lots of recognition throughout the first half of the Seventies, his star by no means did shine fairly as brightly because it ought to have within the ensuing many years. Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s love of his music introduced him some belated recognition, nevertheless it’s unhappy that an artist’s passing is typically wanted to convey him the form of accolades reserved for others. Elton referred to as “A Tune For You” an American basic, and its phrases are price remembering now…

I’ve been so many locations in my life and time
I’ve sung lots of songs
I’ve made some unhealthy rhymes
I’ve acted out my life on phases
With 10, 000 folks watching
However we’re alone now and I’m singing this tune to you

Observe the official Leon Russell Greatest Of playlist.

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