Leon Russell

Leon Russell
Event on 2015-07-13 20:00:00

Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.Leon has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and onBorn in southwest Oklahoma in 1942, Leon began piano lessons at age 4. He was playing in Tulsa nightclubs at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, Leon's band, The Starlighters, went on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis for almost two months. Leon left Tulsa at the age of 17 for Los Angeles where he began playing in the L.A. clubs and eventually became one of the best session musicians in Hollywood. He worked with the best Hollywood producers and top musicians in the business.Leon founded Shelter Records with partner Denny Cordell and released Leon's first solo album, "Leon Russell" in May, 1970. It included Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voorman. The album contained classic Leon songs, 'A Song For You', along with 'Hummingbird', and 'Delta Lady'. Shelter Records was home for not only Leon but many other artists such as Freddie King, Don Nix, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Gap Band, Dwight Twilley and Phoebe Snow. Leon played on and produced three Shelter albums for blues guitarist Freddie King.As a songwriter, Leon's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. Ray Charles recorded 'A Song For You', B.B. King had a hit with 'Hummingbird', The Carpenters with 'Superstar' and Joe Cocker with 'Delta Lady'. The Carpenter's cover of 'Superstar', written by Leon and Bonnie Bramlett, went to #2 on the pop music charts. George Benson won the "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1976 for his cover of Leon's song, 'This Masquerade', and it became the first song in music history to hit #1 on the jazz, pop and R&B charts.On August 1st, 1971, Leon joined George Harrison and friends for two performances of the Concert For Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in New York to raise money for refugees. His "Jumpin' Jack Flash/Youngblood" medley was considered the highlight of the show by some. The album earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.Leon's first solo album to earn a Gold record was Leon Russell and The Shelter People (1971). The Carney album, released in 1972, would be his best seller and included the single, "Tight Rope" which reached #11 on the pop music charts. By 1972, Leon was a major concert attraction. Billboard Magazine named Leon the top concert attraction for 1973. His concert at Long Beach, CA on August 28, 1972 was recorded and released on the triple-LP album Leon Live which rose to #9 on the pop charts. Leon released the second Asylum Choir album, Asylum Choir II, in 1972 from songs recorded years earlier. The single "Slippin' Into Christmas" rose to # 4 on the Billboard Christmas chart in 1972.At the height of his popularity as a rock star, Leon released a country music album, Hank Wilson's Back under the name Hank Wilson on August 31st,1973. His last Shelter Records studio album, Will O' The Wisp (1975), included the hit single "Lady Blue" (#14 on the charts) and went Gold. The Best Of Leon was released in 1976 and earned a 6th Gold Record. Leon founded Paradise Records a Warner Bros. label and released albums from 1976-84 such as The Wedding Album, "Make Love To The Music, "Americana, Life And Love, Solid State and Hank Wilson Vol. II.Leon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, 2011 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June, 2011.Leon's latest records from his own record label, Leon Russell Records, include "Signature Songs", a collection of acoustic piano/vocal recordings of Leon Russell classics; "Guitar Blues"; "Moonlight & Love Songs", a collection of standards; "Face In The Crowd"; "Crazy Love"; "Hymns Of Christmas"; "Rhythm & Bluegrass: Hank Wilson vol. 4", a collection of songs recorded in the 1980's with the New Grass Revival; "A Mighty Flood", an album of inspirational songs; "Angel In Disguise"; and "Best Of Hank Wilson".

at Rams Head on Stage
33 West Street
Annapolis, United States

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