LEON RUSSELL: THE MUSICIAN & SONGWRITER
Leon Russell left his mark on numerous best-selling records during his 60-year career. He created music for all genres. Moreover, the music you listened to growing up, Leon likely had a six degrees of separation moment with it. In a nutshell, his albums are collaborations rank as some of the most successful in music history. As a touring musician, he performed with hundreds of amazing artists.
The Early Years
Leon Russell hails from Lawton, Oklahoma and began playing the piano at the age of four. At 14, he lied about his age to land a gig at a nightclub, playing behind Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks. This was before touring in support of Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, he’s in Los Angeles, studying guitar with the legendary James Burton and appearing on sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glenn Campbell.
As a pianist, he played in his early years on albums by The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and Jan and Dean. Russell produced and played in recording sessions for, among others Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Rolling Stones.
As for the photo of the week? Leon is captured in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Lincoln Theatre during a tour stop. Circa 2009.
Keeping the Blues Alive
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Credits: Image by Jason Moore/ZUMA PRESS