Leon Russell

Knowledge Identifier: +Leon_Russell

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Leon Russell

American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music add

Category: Music

Born in 1942.

Countries: United States (74%), United Kingdom (13%), Tennessee (4%)

Main connections: Elton John, The Union (Elton John and Leon Russell album), Joe Cocker

Linked to: Billboard, Recording Industry Association of America, British Phonographic Industry, Capitol Records

 

Timeline


 

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Leon Russell was born in 1942 add something


1960

After moving to Los Angeles, he became a session musician, working as a pianist on the recordings of many notable musical artists from the 1960s add something

 

As a first call studio musician in Los Angeles, Russell played on many of the most popular songs of the 1960s, including some by The Byrds, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, and Herb Alpert add something

 

During the 1960s and '70s, Russell owned the Church Recording Studio on 3rd Street in Tulsa add something


1964

He can be seen in 1964's "T.A.M.I. Show", playing piano with "The Wrecking Crew" , sporting short, dark, slicked-back hair, in contrast to his later look add something


1965

Bill Pitman - Consequently, the men who joined Roger McGuinn in CBS Columbia Square on January 20, 1965 were not members of The Byrds, but session players Larry Knechtel, Hal Blaine, Jerry Cole, Leon Russell, and Bill Pitman


1966

He played xylophone and bells on the 1966 single "The Joker Went Wild", sung by Brian Hyland and penned by Bobby Russell add something


1967

He worked sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell on Campbell's 1967 album "Gentle on My Mind", where he was credited as "Russell Bridges" on piano. add something


1969

Freddie King - In 1969 King hired Jack Calmes as his manager, who secured him an appearance at the 1969 Texas Pop Festival, alongside Led Zeppelin and others, and this led to King's being signed to Leon Russell's new label, Shelter Records


1970

Also in 1970, Russell played piano on Dave Mason's album, "Alone Together", most notably on the song "Sad and Deep as You" add something

 

By 1970 he had graduated to solo recording artist, although he never ended all his previous roles within the music industry add something

 

Russell helped blues guitarist Freddie King to revive his career by collaborating with him on three of his albums for Shelter during the early 1970s add something

 

Russell went on to organize and perform in the 1970 "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour in support of the album add something

 

Soon after the "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour, Shelter Records released his 1970 solo album "Leon Russell", which included the first recording of "A Song for You" add something

 

Paul Davis (singer) - His appearance in the mid 1970s to early 1980s resembled Leon Russell

 

John McFee - In 1970, Pamela joined the famed "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell, appearing on the resulting album as well as in the movie of the same name, and her songs have been recorded by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Helen Reddy, The Byrds, Vicki Carr, Nancy Ames, Anita Carter and Bobby Bare

 

Lonely Planet - The company name comes from a misheard line in "Space Captain", a song written by Matthew Moore and first popularized by Joe Cocker and Leon Russell on the "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour in 1970

 

Don Ellis - In June 1970, the Orchestra performed for three nights at Bill Graham's Fillmore West auditorium, opening for the Quicksilver Messenger Service and Leon Russell.


1971

A busy year for Russell, 1971 brought the Shelter release of "Leon Russell And The Shelter People" and "Asylum Choir II" add something

 

During the summer of 1971, at the invitation of George Harrison, Russell played piano on Badfinger's third album, "Straight Up" add something

 

George Harrison - Harrison took that idea and called up all his friends, organising The Concert for Bangladesh on 1 August 1971 in New York City, which featured other artists of the time like Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and former Beatle Ringo Starr


1972

Russell's song, "This Masquerade", the B-side of his 1972 hit single "Tight Rope", went on to be recorded by numerous artists, including Helen Reddy and The Carpenters add something

 

A live performance was recorded in California at the Long Beach Arena on August 28, 1972, and was released as the "Leon Live" album add something


1975

The Temptations - Bowen's first LP with the Temptations was January 1975's "A Song for You", which included a cover of the titular Leon Russell tune , along with the pop Top 40/R&B number-one hits "Happy People" and "Shakey Ground"


1979

In 1979, Russell and Willie Nelson had a number-one hit on the "Billboard" country music chart with their duet of "Heartbreak Hotel" add something

 

Heartbreak Hotel - A rock and roll standard, since its original release "Heartbreak Hotel" has been covered by several rock and pop acts, including Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, who recorded a duet version that topped the Country charts in 1979

 

Heartbreak Hotel - Willie Nelson and Leon Russell had a number one cover version in 1979 on the country charts, it was Russell's only number one hit on the charts


1980

Bruce Hornsby - During the late 1980s and early 1990s Hornsby worked extensively as a producer and sideman, notably producing a comeback album for Leon Russell, an idol of Hornsby's


2002

Earl Scruggs - In 2002 Scruggs won a second Grammy *award for the 2001 recording of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", which featured artists such as Steve Martin on 2nd banjo solo , Vince Gill and Albert Lee on electric guitar solos, Paul Shaffer on piano, Leon Russell on organ, and Marty Stuart on mandolin

 

Steve Ripley - In 2002 he created his own record label to produce artists including The Tractors, Leon Russell and The Red Dirt Rangers


2005

Christina Aguilera - Aguilera collaborated with jazz artist Herbie Hancock on a cover of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" recorded for Hancock's album Possibilities, released in August 2005.


2006

Mel McDaniel - McDaniel was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006, along with induction classmate Leon Russell


2009

In November 2009, Russell worked together with John and Bernie Taupin on "The Union", a double album record credited equally to both Russell and John add something

 

Cameron Crowe - In November 2009, Crowe began filming a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the album "The Union", a collaboration between musicians Elton John and Leon Russell produced by *award-winning producer $T-Bone_Burnett (T_Bone_Burnett)


2010

"Rolling Stone" placed the album in third place on its list of the 30 Best Albums of 2010 add something

 

Recorded in February 2010 and produced by $T-Bone_Burnett (T_Bone_Burnett), the CD was released on October 19, 2010 add something

 

Davey Faragher - In 2010, Faragher played as a session bassist for "The Union", a Grammy *award-nominated collaboration by Elton John and Leon Russell

 

Bernie Taupin - Taupin and John composed several songs for "The Union", a collaboration album between Elton and his longtime hero Leon Russell released in October 2010

 

Jim Keltner - Keltner played on "The Union" by Leon Russell and Elton John, produced by $T-Bone_Burnett (T_Bone_Burnett) and released on October 10, 2010

 

The Union (Elton John and Leon Russell album) - "'The Union"' is a collaboration studio album by singer-songwriters Elton John and Leon Russell, released on 19 October 2010 in the US and on 25 October 2010 in the UK. This is the 30th studio album by John and the 34th by Russell


2011

Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, March 14, 2011, at a black-tie dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan add something

 

On April 2, 2011, Russell and John performed together as the musical guests on "Saturday Night Live" add something


2014

T. Graham Brown - In 2014 Brown again collaborated with producer Mark Carman to producer a new album featuring guest appearances by industry giants; Leon Russell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Cropper, Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Booth Brothers, Three Bridges, Jimmy Fortune, and Jason Crabb


2015

On March 16, 2015, a restored version of the previously unreleased 1974 documentary about Russell, "A Poem Is A Naked Person", by filmmaker Les Blank, was screened publicly at the South by Southwest Film Festival add something

 

On September 11, 2015, Russell joined alumni, Rita Coolidge, Claudia Lennear, Chris Stainton and other members of the 1970 Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour for a special tribute concert to Joe Cocker organized by the Tedeschi Trucks Band add something

 

Joe Cocker - On September 11, 2015 a "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tribute concert to Joe Cocker was performed at the Lockn' Festival featuring The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Chris Stainton, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, Doyle Bramhall II, Dave Mason and Chris Robinson amongst others


2016

A full documentary of the reunion and performance will be released early 2016, directed by Jesse Lauter and Jojo Pennebaker, son of D.A. Pennebaker add something

 

He had suffered a heart attack in July 2016 and had coronary bypass surgery, after which he postponed shows while convalescing at home add something

 

According to Russell's wife, Jan Bridges, Russell died at age 74 on the morning of November 13, 2016, quietly in his sleep at his suburban Nashville home add something

 

Russell died in his sleep at his suburban Nashville home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, on November 13, 2016, at the age of 74, his wife said in a statement on his website add something


2017

He had hoped to return to his concert schedule in January 2017 add something


2018

His "A Song for You" has been recorded by more than 200 artists, and was included in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018 add something