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Leon Russell

Born Apr 2, 1942

Leon Russell is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music. Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, he began playing piano at the age of four. Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time he was already performing at Tulsa nightclubs.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Leon Russell.

  • Remembering The Carpenters: A My Music Presentation And Paul Williams Interview, Plus A Christmas Chat With Plácido Domingo
    Huffington Post - Dec 01, 2015
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    Chats With Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant, Pentatonix's Avi Kaplan, Ben Rector And Widespread Panic's John Bell, Plus We/Or/Me And H Pn B/Dan Zanes Exclusives
    Huffington Post - Nov 10, 2015
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    Eleven Bass Players Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
    Huffington Post - Oct 08, 2015
  • Dog Ears Music: Volume 300 Deserves To Be Heard
    Huffington Post - Oct 04, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Leon Russell.


1942 Birth Born on April 2, 1942.


1964 22 Years Old He can be seen in 1964's T.A.M.I. Show, playing piano with "the Wrecking Crew" (an informal name for the top L.A. session musicians of the 1960s), sporting short, dark, slicked-back hair, in contrast to his later look. … Read More
1966 24 Years Old He played xylophone and bells on the 1966 single "The Joker Went Wild", sung by Brian Hyland and penned by Bobby Russell (no relation to Leon).
1967 25 Years Old He also 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, and arranged and conducted the 1966 easy listening album Rhapsodies for Young Lovers by the Midnight String Quartet.
1969 27 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1969 and 1970, Russell worked as a member of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, playing guitar and keyboards on their albums and as part of the touring band. … Read More
Russell went on to organize—using many of the musicians from Delaney & Bonnie's band—and perform in the 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. "Superstar", co-written by Russell, was sung by Rita Coolidge on that tour and album. … Read More
In March, 1971, Russell produced some tracks for Bob Dylan, who was experimenting with his sound. … Read More


1972 was highlighted by a large-scale concert tour by Russell and his "Shelter People" entourage. … Read More
1976 34 Years Old 1 More Event
Leon and then-wife Mary Russell were musical guests on the May 15, 1976, episode of Saturday Night Live in its first season, hosted by Dyan Cannon.
1979 37 Years Old In 1979, Russell and Willie Nelson had a number-one hit on the Billboard country music chart with their duet of "Heartbreak Hotel". … Read More


2009 67 Years Old After a number of years of reduced prominence, Russell's career was rejuvenated when Elton John sought him out for a new project. 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. … Read More
2010 68 Years Old 1 More Event
The recordings were interrupted in January 2010 by a health scare: Russell was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a brain fluid leak, as well as treatment for heart failure and pneumonia. … Read More
2015 73 Years Old 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. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Russell.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.