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Leon Russell

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Lawton OK, United States (April 2, 1942 – present)

Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942 in Lawton, Oklahoma) is a singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist. Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Known as a session musician and artist in his own right, Russell has played with artists as varied as Jerry Lee Lewis, Phil Spector and The Rolling Stones. With a solo career spanning the genres of rock, blues, and gospel, Russell began his musical career at 14, lying about his age to land a gig playing backup at a Tulsa nightclub to play with Ronnie Hawkins behind Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, after settling in Los Angeles, he studied guitar with James Burton, and worked sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell.

After becoming a part of Phil Spector’s studio group, Russell played backup on many of the most popular hits of the 1960s, including The Byrds, Gary Lewis And The Playboys, and Herb Alpert. He also served as Snuff Garrett’s assistant on numerous productions. Russell built his own recording studio in 1967, and recorded his first LP, Look Inside The Asylum Choir, in a collaboration with Marc Benno.

His first songwriting hit was Joe Cocker’s 1970 cover of “Delta Lady”, and Russell went on to organise Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. Shortly thereafter, Russell released another solo album, Leon Russell, which included the original version of the popular “A Song for You”. Also in 1970, Russell played piano on Dave Mason’s album, Alone Together (notably, on the song “Sad And Deep As You”).

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  • AndoDoug

    Great to see 'Stranger in a Strange Land' getting noticed, currently sitting pretty at #2 - classic, under-appreciated rock

    18 Dec 2013 Reply
  • dardar227

    Leon Russell is a beloved music legend that I hope we never take for granted his talent and contribution to music. There's absolutely no one else like him and I respect him 100%!

    2 May 2013 Reply
  • Echos_Myron

    How come this guy isn't played on any classic rock radio stations?

    23 Apr 2013 Reply
  • DeadKinks

    One of those guys who has hundreds of fans among big stars but almost none of their fans know about him.

    16 Jun 2012 Reply
  • pepganzo

    Hello my friend. do you like little feats? try to change little feats' principal image! vote it up! http://www.lastfm.it/music/Little+Feat/+images/67147966

    24 Mar 2012 Reply
  • ViniciusStilt

    His voice is amazing...!

    11 Dec 2011 Reply
  • cousinbull

    Great gig in Ct. last night.

    19 Nov 2011 Reply
  • ChefeApache

    Hummingbird Genial

    3 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Druid66

    A great sideman (he played on the Stones' "Let It Bleed", if I remember correctly) and a fine solo act; he's unjustly underrated.

    9 Sep 2011 Reply
  • DannyJWIS

    Leon, it was an honor and a humble privilage to have you grace our stage at the Music Festival of the World in Milwaukee and listen in on our performance. It was a moment all of us in the Mark Shurlla & the Greatest Hits group will never forget. Thank you so very much. I hope you didn't mind it when I announced your presence and dedicated a song to you. I hope to one day again get the chance to meet you and spend more time learning from you. I sent Marvalous Marv Kaminsky a copy of our photo together as promised. I'll also get a copy to Darlene from the Crystals as well. God give you many healthy years ahead. You still ROCK. Danny J, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    11 Jul 2011 Reply
  • kikkinas360

    Smiles //kikkin. Fantastic.

    4 Mar 2011 Reply
  • MGM_Lioness

    i am seriously and hopelessly in love <3

    11 Feb 2011 Reply
  • dirtydogintex

    29-o-o-76k listeners - real noisy bunch here round here, eh?

    9 Feb 2011 Reply
  • RosenbergMejlby

    'Manhattan Island Serenade' and his cover of 'Wild Horses' are excellent songs, if you haven't heard them by now, give them a listen.

    26 Jan 2011 Reply
  • 1treehillbilly

    Hey people ive been a massive fan of Leon for a while now...have you heard Hans Chew ...look him up on here ...at least four songs from his debut album "Tennessee Stories" sound very much and have the feel of early Leon Russell. check it out.....under a thousand listeners over there ...criminal

    30 Oct 2010 Reply
  • G1v3M3Fr33d0m

    I'd like to hear "Willo' the Wisp"

    1 Sep 2010 Reply
  • BuddyDawg1

    I really do love me some Leon!

    10 Jul 2010 Reply
  • nooneastern

    Leon fans -- join the Leon Russell last.fm group !

    31 May 2010 Reply
  • TitsUp

    Love Leon

    13 Apr 2010 Reply
  • InfinitiMinus1

    I am one day late.. but... Happy Birthday Leon!!!

    3 Apr 2010 Reply
  • All 43 shouts

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