Leon Russell

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Musical Excellence

Inducted in: 2011

Inducted by: Elton John


Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2000 (ranked #15 in the Sidemen (Individuals) category) .


Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
A Song For You (1970)
Tight Rope (1972)

Leon Russell @ Wikipedia

Comments

100 comments so far (post your own)

The Master of Space and Time NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame??? C'mon people! Let's work together to get Leon Russell nominated! Email me if you're interested: p.bohn@hotmail.com

Posted by Pat B. on Friday, 04.27.07 @ 07:05am


Leon Russell should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. He is one of the quintessential rock n' roll performers and song writers of the last century - starting in the 60's. For him to be overlooked in favor of the likes of Grand Master Flash (this year's nominee) is a disgrace. Plus, Leon is still out there performing and getting rave reviews. Come on - The Master of Space and Time deserves a place in the Rock n' Roll HOF. Please consider.

Posted by Teri Dassing on Monday, 10.1.07 @ 12:38pm


Leon was playing with Ricky Nelson right out of high school. It would be hard to name anyone in rock he hasn't played with or produced. He was #1 piano in The Wrecking Crew, produced Gary Lewis, Jan & Dean, played bass on Mr. Tambourine Man, Delaney & Bonnie, Mad Dogs, Bangladesh, Willie Nelson. Brought us Tom Petty, Phoebe Snow, and J. J,. Cale. So Chic is more important? Frankie Lymon, a one-hit-dead-junkie is in. It's all a cruel hoax!

Posted by Jim Downing on Saturday, 10.6.07 @ 16:53pm


It is truly amazing that leon is not in the r&r hall of fame. I have lived with his music every day of my adult life. He stills tours year round, when I saw him last in a club in kcmo a couple of years ago the ticket was $20.00!! He has always been a true artist and hero to me and my wife toni. Gimme a break! Madonna in the hall of fame!?
what the heck are the hall of fame people thinking? love you all zak

Posted by ZAk Rowan on Saturday, 01.5.08 @ 20:48pm


From one Okie to the rock hall of fame. You're nuts! The music world still amazes me. I was flipping through channels the other night and heard someone getting ready to sing for American Idol. When asked what they were goint to sing, the reply was "A Song For You" by Michael Buble. Who the hell is he? It's because of folks like the ones running the hall of fame that young people today don't know who the true pioneers of rock-n-roll are. Leon is and always has been one of the greatest writers and rock piano men there has ever been. I'm glad he celebrates his birthday every year at home in Tulsa.

Posted by ROY PEMBERTON on Thursday, 01.31.08 @ 15:25pm


The small-venue concert where I saw Leon Russell perform recently didn't compare to some of his major concerts that I was fortunate to attend in L.A. in the early 1970s. I was coaxed out of my house by a close friend and native of Oklahoma who had never seen a live Leon Russell performance. I'll not move off into a tangent here about the immense talent that pervaded that night and how Mr. Russell's own sound engineer could use new batteries in his hearing aid - the room mix was so uneven, blah, blah, blah... Nonetheless, I ended buying a couple of Leon Russell's more recent works (being stuck in the Asylum Choir II, Leon Russell, Carney, and Leon Russell and the Shelter People days and all) - "Face in the Crowd" from 1999 and "Angel in Disguise" from 2007 and tumbled back into the stupored amazement his music has always evoked in me. Thus, I began my online search for other of his releases over the last 35 years - between "Carney" and "Face in the Crowd" and which initially led me to his website. That's where my tangent in truth began; when I discovered that LEON RUSSELL has not, to date, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Turns out there's an awful lot of fans of other well-known musicians and groups who feel the same way. The RRHOF has received a fair amount of bad press, even from voting members of the RRHOF accusing the inductee nominating committee and 600 or so of the voting members of the Rock and Roll Holl of Fame FOUNDATION (not the museum) of pandering to big music industry interests and grudge-holding members of the Foundation's board of directors - currently headed by the founder of Rolling Stone Magazine, Jann Wenner. As ironic timing would have it, I was doing my Leon Russell memory lane walk (playing old and newer songs) as I was doing my reading when the song from his "Carney" album (his best selling album) called "If the Shoe Fits" began playing. It's a sardonic narrative of Leon Russell's experience with one or more Rolling Stone writers who were parked in his house and backstages to his concerts and mooching off him under the guise of article development. Part of chorus, "We're from the Rolling Stone, so it's okay..." It's funny, biting, clever, and perhaps cuts a little too close to the bone. Whatever. I thought I was really onto something, plus I was pissed at the thought that this extraordinarily talented musician and the primary roll he has played throughout decades of rock and roll music was being ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame FOUNDATION. What I ultimately discovered is that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation is irrelevant. It has very little to do with the Museum in Cleveland and more to do with enticing contributions from big bucks music industry organizations and celebrities to pay for its annual highly publicised awards ceremony at the posh Waldorf Astoria in New York City. AND, they're knuckleheads, besides. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation - the institution which is supposed to be the keeper of rock and roll significance is, AND REMEMBER THIS: irrelevant. They make good press which, in turn, can lend some apparent credibility to their inductee award efforts which are often somewhat whimsical and groundless. In truth, they are nothing more than well-placed insiders who (demonstrated by the simple fact that Leon Russell remains unrecognized and uninducted) accomplish nothing more than add evidence that induction into the RRHOF as underwritten by this silly group of (and this is a technical term) doo-doo heads is extraneous, trivial, and indistinguished. The more I learn about the RRHOF, the less irritated that I am by Mr. Russell's exclusion. He knows who he is and so do I and so do his fans and so do the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton and George Harrison and Phil Spector and Steve Winwood and Joe Cocker and Glen Campbell and the Beach Boys and and and... Unfortunate thing is, induction could have financial benefits for him as Sony Records knows so well and Leon Russell knows not at all.

As my West Texas-born grandpa used to say, "Them sons o' bitches!" Me? I just may dust off my soapbox and get the word out that Leon Russell is every bit the musical genius he ever was, that his music can still bring you to your knees in astonishment, that he is proof that there is still beauty in the Universe... But I ain't going to be parking my soapbox in front of the Waldorf Astoria - a waste of my breath, pearls to swine.

Posted by Sheri Elsworth on Monday, 02.18.08 @ 02:28am


"Lady Blue" by Leon Russell...one of my favorites! A whole lot of people have had big hits with his songs...wouldn't surprise me at all to see him get inducted sometime, there's people in there less deserving (see: Jann Wenner!! I still don't get the nerve of that guy!!).

Posted by Terry on Monday, 02.18.08 @ 18:51pm


Leon should have his own hall of fame. His list of inductees can all that played with him and who he's influenced...the members would a who's who and be a hell of a lot more rocking than some museum.

Posted by johnny on Monday, 03.10.08 @ 14:14pm


I'll try my turn as Don Quixote. There is no doubt in my tiny mind that Leon should be in the RRHoF. The previous comments have probably said it all. The biggest concert draw in the early 70's, influenced countless musicians (including Elton - maybe he could help?), played on countless hits (his own and others), arranged many beautiful tunes (his and others), loved by his peers and fans and kind to puppies. What else is there to say other than if Leon does not get his due life is not fair. We know who Leon is and Leon knows who Leon is (Claude) so maybe that should be enough. LOVE TO LEON!

Posted by Rich Carlson on Monday, 03.31.08 @ 11:14am


Of course Leon Russell should be inducted into the RRHOF. This is a no-brainer. Just check with the artists whose careers he has touched. They'll tell you! Leon is legendary. He IS rock 'n roll.

Posted by Jim K on Saturday, 04.26.08 @ 22:59pm


I'd be more comfortable seeing him inducted as a Side-Man, but I'd have no problem seeing him in as a Performer either.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 04.26.08 @ 23:14pm


Leon Russell most definitely should be in the Hall of Fame. I can't believe he isn't already.
I saw him in the early 70's and 3 more times in the last four years. He is as incredible now as he was then. His influence on others just goes on and on.

Posted by Linda Smolens on Wednesday, 07.16.08 @ 09:45am


Leon Russell and Joe Cocker are true rock icons, and their fans know that! It is too bad the RRHOF just does not get it! They continue to snub Joe and Leon for much less deserving artists, but the truth of the matter is, they are Hall Of Famers with or without the blessing of the RRHOF.

Posted by Tony on Tuesday, 08.5.08 @ 19:52pm


Grew up in L.A. in the 60's.........Those were prolific musical times with Leon being one of the most influential writers/performers of all...
Most of the younger generations don't have a clue of all the other people who have won Grammys singing Leon's songs........
Leon still tours and performs and still thrills people all over the world with his music.
He should have been inducted a very long time ago! Talk about Rock & Roll !!!!!
Please, Let's honor Leon. So many of the inductees do not compare.

Posted by bigvic on Saturday, 08.16.08 @ 15:08pm


The poll question was "WILL" Leon be inducted. Sadly, I had to vote "no" as I don't think the knuckleheads who run the RRHOF will remove their collective heads from their collective backsides for long enough to see their omission that he isn't there already.

Now, "SHOULD" he be inducted, then that is a most definite "yes".

When you consider the artists to whose records he has contributed as a musician, the songs he has written, and both sung himself, or been sung by others (Idol anyone?), the records he has produced, the fact he still tours consistently, what's not to like?

I'm guessing that somewhere along the way he has pissed off Mr Wiener and thus has no chance while he is involved with the nominating process.

Posted by Woff on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 14:55pm


as someone who has enjoyed this man's music most of my life, I also cannot fathom why he has yet to be inducted, I mean who picks the nominees anyway. Leon Russell has touched so many areas of music for the last 30 years and my God, what is the problem........as a Leon Lifer, I'm guessing its Wenner who I hear doesnt like him and wont let him in.......well from what Ive seen recently, Leon doesnt let anything stop him from gettin what he wants........I just would like him to get something he DESERVES and has deserved for a very long time, C'mon whats he gotta do? Walk on water :)

Posted by Jerri on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 18:49pm




as someone who has enjoyed this man's music most of my life, I also cannot fathom why he has yet to be inducted, I mean who picks the nominees anyway. Leon Russell has touched so many areas of music for the last 30 years and my God, what is the problem........as a Leon Lifer, I'm guessing its Wenner who I hear doesnt like him and wont let him in.......well from what Ive seen recently, Leon doesnt let anything stop him from gettin what he wants........I just would like him to get something he DESERVES and has deserved for a very long time, C'mon whats he gotta do? Walk on water :)

Posted by Jerri on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 18:49pm


Agreed .....From Studio musician , writer , staring act.talent scout, producer... the list is endless....
Yes YES !

Posted by mrxyz on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 20:12pm


mrxyz...we totally and completely agree on an artist!!! "Lady Blue' is one of my favorites, and his influence in the industry is pretty undeniable!!!!

Posted by Gitarzan on Sunday, 09.28.08 @ 08:19am


ARE YOU SERIOUS? It is beyond my comprehension that Mr. Russell is not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...or "SHAME"! What does it take for these judges to make their decesions? Leon has long ago PROVED himself as an outstanding, one of a kind entertainer! A 50 year career! Doesn't that say something? There is no question that many, many of the previous inductees have a rightful place in the "HALL" but to NEGLECT a man like Mr. Russell, with his multi-talented abilities is certainly a disgrace! With one switch of a piano key he can go from rock&roll to pop, country, blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, standards and back to classical piano! Playing with Jerry Lee Lewis at age 15 speaks volumes! He built his own recording studio and backed and produced so many artists! He has been a session muscian, arranger, producer, singer, song writer, pianist, guitarist, and still performs with great reviews!! He has played and collaborated with the likes of Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, JJ Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Bobby Boris Pickett, B.B. King, Steve Cropper, Rita Coolidge, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Earl Scruggs, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Doug Kershaw, Ray Charles, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the LIST goes on! So many of the inductees just don't come close to this accomplishment! This man is a musical genius and for him to be overlooked since 1993 for groups like Grand Master Flash and The Dave Clark 5 is ludicrous and an OUTRAGE! They cannot walk in Mr. Russells's shoes! Leon is a LEGEND! Listen to his haunting melodies and words in so much of his music...(A Song For You)&(Magic Mirrors) and it is not hard to figure out that HE deserves this tribute! It is way too long overdue! Please do not wait until it is too late and he is dead and gone and then you decide to honor him for his talents! Let him know NOW how much he is loved for the music he has given us all these years! Give him the honor that is due! He is Rock& Roll! Thank you Leon! We love you!

Posted by alexandra on Sunday, 10.26.08 @ 15:15pm


After reading all these post, I too am appalled that LEON RUSSELL has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame! Seriously folks , there are some those already in the Hall of Fame that are so FAR LESS DESERVING than Leon Russell that it is completely OFFENSIVE to me as an avid music fan! For Pete sake, are you waiting for Leon to pass before giving him his WELL DESERVED DUE?! I think that would be a travesty beyond words! It isn't that hard to look at Leon's works, songs, writing & above all IMMENSE influence he has had on SO many other artists! Please Hall of Fame, for the sake of MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of Leon Russell fans, do the right thing this year & induct Mr. Russell into it! As the above posters said- HE DESERVES IT! HE OUGHT TO BE HONORED for his HARD work and DEDICATION to the music industry!! I sincerely hope these words of myself & all those above me who commented will not fall on deaf ears! Time to induct a WELL DESERVED, ONE OF A KIND, ABOVE TALENTED MUSICIAN.......Leon Russell.
Thank you

Posted by Natasha on Tuesday, 10.28.08 @ 21:01pm


Natasha I agree
When you think of who is in and Leon is not... It makes you wonder. From studio musician in the Beach Boys to Finding and recording Tom Petty... not counting his own first class rock.. is unbelievable!
Yes to the MAN LEON!!!!

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 10.28.08 @ 21:37pm


It's a no brainer. But obviously someone's not getting it. He's one of those artists that will always be there. Goin to see him next week. Can't wait. Keep performing Leon, we love you.

Posted by Beth Randolph on Monday, 11.10.08 @ 15:13pm


Leon should be a shoo-in. There's no one, save Dylan, with the originality and staying power that has made him so key in others' successes. He is both a brilliant performer and songwriter -- producing credits aside -- and not to bestow this honor on him would be a shame (and perhaps insane)in a right-headed world.

Posted by Wendi on Sunday, 11.23.08 @ 13:27pm


Ronnie Spector was finally inducted into the RRHF after a certain some one was not on the board any more.Maybe when a few more certain ones are off the board Leon will get his due.

Posted by John Sires on Wednesday, 12.31.08 @ 08:12am


So Sir John, who are the mysterious "certain ones" blocking Leon Russell? Share. As to Ronnie Spector she had to wait for her wackjob ex-husband to split, but his push-pull ironically was major reason Ronettes got in. I say Phil Spector influence was a net pull for her.

Posted by Worm on Wednesday, 12.31.08 @ 11:30am


It is definitely time to induct Leon Russell-whomever has the power, please comply!
He is one of the best songwriters & performers of our time & time waits for no one.....

Posted by Debbie on Saturday, 01.10.09 @ 14:00pm


Personally, I could care less if Leon Russell was inducted into the RRHOF. And, Leon doesn't care either. As the above posts' have atested to, Leon, and his fans, know who he is. One of the greatest Rock 'n' Rollers (piano, trumpet, guitar)singer/song writers, producers, arrangers (Ike and Tina Turner's, "River Deep Mountain High"), record Label owners of the last century and on into this century. Ya see, it's not about "recognition", per say, on being inducted into the RRHOF for Leon, or his fans. We all know who he is and the genious he continually exhibits at his craft. The the real benefit of recognition of Leon's induction would go to a whole new generation(s) of people who DON'T know who Leon Russell is. Who don't know of his genious and mastery of his craft. A whole new world of exploration would be opened up to countless people to experience his music and lyrical wizardy. Hey, he wasn't donned, "The Master of Space and Time", for nothin' ! The potential for a whole new generation of people to lean on his music and lyrics to help them get through the hard times in their lives, as well as making the good times even more joyous, is immeasurable. Music is a Universal language, as we all know, and to deprive a whole generation of Leon Russell's immense talents simply because the RRHOF FOUNDATION is still on the first page of their "Proctology 101" text books (meaning they're still in the process of trying to find out where their heads' are), is simply inexcusable and totally unacceptable. All one needs do is take the briefest of glances at his over four decades of contributions to Rock 'n' Roll and, if the FOUNDATION doesn't "get it" by then, then, if I were in Leon's shoes, I wouldn't WANT to be in the RRHOF. And make no mistake about this post. It's not here begging and pleading for Leon to be inducted just because he's a Rock 'n' Roll Piano Player, par excellence, it's because, IF, the Foundation takes an honest and deserving look at the history behind Leon Russell, they won't be able to escape the inevitable conclusion that Leon was, and still is, one of the most influential and prolific musicians in the business today. Hugs and Smiles Across the Miles ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, MG.

Posted by Mthrgse on Sunday, 03.1.09 @ 11:40am


Ignorance. Anyone with an inkling of musical knowledge will agree: Leon Russell SHOULD be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Posted by Dee on Monday, 03.2.09 @ 12:35pm


Russell’s modesty makes him inclinded to NOT list everything he’s done – or the PHENOMENAL quality of work: Arrangements with perfect spacing and timing, the cleanest productions, extremely cooool keyboard work, and perfect compositions that are simply genious. Then there’s those he brought into the biz… Who are these people that oppose his admission? They are simply among the unknowing. RC (among the LL)

Posted by Rob Cannan on Wednesday, 04.8.09 @ 11:10am



The first time I saw Leon Russell was in 1969 at the Fillmore West in S.F. when I was 16 years old. He was a late substitute for the Allman Brothers who came the following week, a week late. The tickets were $2.50 and I don't think I have ever spent money so well. I loved him from that day until last night in Greensboro,NC where I saw him play again. What a great talent.........

Posted by pete Cenna on Saturday, 04.18.09 @ 06:12am


he first time I saw Leon Russell was in 1969 at the Fillmore West in S.F. when I was 16 years old. He was a late substitute for the Allman Brothers who came the following week, a week late. The tickets were $2.50 and I don't think I have ever spent money so well. I loved him from that day until last night in Greensboro,NC where I saw him play again. What a great talent.........

Posted by pete Cenna on Saturday, 04.18.09 @ 06:12am



He should of been in years ago from top studio musician/sideman,{Beach Boys, Monkeys} producer {Shelter Records},talent scout{Tom Petty ,Joe Cocker} to a true writer and performer...

Posted by mrxyz on Saturday, 04.18.09 @ 08:06am


Pete Cenna,

Leon Russell was NOT 16 years old in 1969. His birthday is April 2, 1942. So when you saw him for the first he was either 26 or 27. NOT 16

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Saturday, 04.18.09 @ 23:59pm


Leon Russell's exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame diminishes the value of anybody else's
inclusion.
The existing members,if only to enrich the prestige
of their own selection,would be well-advised to petition the admission committee to immediately induct Leon or,otherwise,to allow the Hall to irreparably risk losing any pretense of signifying
anything genuinely meaningful.

Posted by David White on Tuesday, 08.18.09 @ 02:07am


Elton John has been pushing for the induction of Leon Russell, according to this week's Rolling Stone magazine.

Posted by Roy on Friday, 11.13.09 @ 11:26am


Reading through these comments brings tears to my eyes - the injustice of Leon's non-induction, still, after all this time and probably in every category that exists - is incredible.
It's pleasing to see that Elton is trying to do something - perhaps other artists could be encouraged to join him ...

Posted by wendy on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 03:32am


Maybe Bruce Hornsby and Eric Clapton should step in to get Leon Russell inducted. Whitney Houston included a version of Russell's "A Song for You" on her most recent album, "I Look To You"

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 05:36am


Want to wish all the regulars a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

IMO, Leon Russell doesn't belong in HOF, Mr. John's wishes notwithstanding.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 06:20am


Want to wish all the regulars a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

IMO, Leon Russell doesn't belong in HOF, Mr. John's wishes notwithstanding.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 06:20am


Merry Christmas
but Leon should be IN {SMILE}

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 07:24am


Merry Christmas everybody

Posted by Keebord on Wednesday, 12.23.09 @ 08:57am


I started listening to the man's genius in 1969.
He is one of America's great hidden treasures. A tremendous songwriter, and a legendary pianist.
According to Billboard records, and Heritage Magazine, he has played piano on more number one hit singles than any other musician in the History of Rock. An influence From Sinatra to the Beatles to Joe Cocker to Elton John,and even Ray Charles, and all can be quoted on this.
He should be inducted alone for "Song For You."
Give the guy his due!
And go listen to "Manhattan Serenade", "Roll Away The Stone", "Delta Blue", "Hummingbird" , "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Tight Rope", "Lady Blue" and perhaps his most underated song "Bluebird".

Posted by Claude on Friday, 01.1.10 @ 10:02am


I'd maybe like to see him inducted at least as a sideman...

Posted by Gitarzan on Friday, 01.1.10 @ 10:37am


I can't understand why brother Leon Russell has not been inducted into the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame. I just saw him perform in a small club in dec. of 2009 in Detroit. I just remember in 70's listening to him on the radio all the time. yeah i know he's played with everyone in the business, but his solo work as described by claude is great. The man is still performing, and its obvious he isn't in the best of health...but he keeps on keeping on. He deserves it.

Posted by faith allen on Wednesday, 01.13.10 @ 22:05pm


A real musiciain and talent scout of the first order

Posted by L-7 on Friday, 01.15.10 @ 11:37am


Leon deserves HIS OWN WING in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Posted by Jeffery Haas on Tuesday, 02.9.10 @ 13:14pm


I am happy so many are now voicing a yes! Funny how a grammy show can bring things out...LOL

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 02.9.10 @ 22:37pm


Here's hoping the Grammy appearance and album with Elton will finally REMIND people of just how talented this man is.........we almost lost him but he's recovering, lets get this done......VOTE HIM IN

Posted by Jerri Hemphill on Wednesday, 02.10.10 @ 08:57am


http://www.berniejtaupin.com/

Need some help here.

This new Elton John-Leon Russell album, is Elton John just playing a part in its writing and production? In other words, Is this a Leon Russell album? Or will the album cover say Leon Russell and Elton John?

From Bernie Taupin's official site:

02.04.10
NEW ALBUM UPDATE
Basic tracks for Bernie and Elton’s new album with Leon Russell have been recently completed and the gang is about to start vocals and overdubs immediately. The trio has cut fifteen songs ranging from Stones like rockers, Country tinged ballads, Gospel and even a Sinatra like weepy similar to something torn from the grooves of “In the Wee Small Hours” As reported before it’s varied in scope and drenched in a rich tapestry of atmospherics. Don’t expect to hear the old EJ/BT sound; this is organic recording unlike anything you’ve heard from our duo before.

Leon continues to improve from the surgery that sidelined him in the initial stages and caused the media to over diagnose his condition. His playing is masterful as ever and his contribution to the project grows more exciting with the passing of everyday.

The players in the first two weeks of recording have included such T-Bone Burnett stalwarts as drummers Jim Keltner and Jay Bellerose, Bassist Dennis Crouch, guitar virtuoso Marc Ribot and additional keyboardist and tech wizard Keefus Ciancia.

Stay posted for further updates.


12.31.09
NEW ALBUM UPDATE
Bernie and Elton will return to the studio in mid-January to record a collaborative album with the iconic Leon Russell. Russell, who has always been one of Elton’s musical heroes and influences when it comes to piano styling, will be featured on a 50/50 basis - writing and performing his own material for the project, as well as writing with both Bernie and Elton, and performing and singing on the pair's own songs.

A marathon writing session in Los Angeles last November saw the trio pen a vast wealth of material that ranges far and wide and covers many musical genres.

The sessions will be overseen and produced by Henry (T-Bone) Burnett whose work on roots-based records over the last several years have turned this multi-Grammy winning musician and producer into the go-to-guy for unique projects.

We advise all not familiar with Leon or T-Bone to Google and learn more about these extraordinary individuals.

Don’t forget to keep checking for new postings by Bernie on his blog as we’re hoping he’ll be reporting some of his own personal feelings on this exciting new chapter in his storied career.


Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 02.10.10 @ 10:36am


It will say Elton John and Leon Russell on the album cover. No word yet on the album title.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 02.10.10 @ 15:50pm


The fact that Leon is not in the RRHoF is more of a reflection on the RRHoF than on Leon. Personally, I agree with the Sex Pistols response when invited to the ceremonies. While many very cool folks are in the Hall, the institution itsself (especially the "Foundation") is dominated by pajama-wearing, plastic freakazoids (one of them a rich publisher, you know who you are)and is irrelevant. It just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter. ---Greg.

Posted by greg on Wednesday, 04.21.10 @ 21:28pm


There are so many REAL talents that have been passed over. Whereas Toni Basil and that damn chant, "Mickey" is in the HOF.
It's totally politics...

Both Leon and Delaney Bramlett belong in the HOF... Delaney did so much after Delaney and Bonnie broke up and has been over looked.

Leon and Delaney co-wrote"Superstar" also.

Posted by Steve on Tuesday, 05.11.10 @ 17:48pm


03.17.10
Album Wraps Up
Work on Bernie’s project with Elton and Leon is about to go to the mixing phase.

Aside from a few additional things to check off the to-do list, the record which now consists of 16 tracks is on the home stretch. The album will be released in the fall, most likely in October.

To confirm what has already leaked out to the press, Neil Young is featured significantly on one of the albums key tracks. Other guests contributing outside of those listed in the last posting are Booker T. Jones, Brian Wilson and pedal steel wizard Robert Randolph.

Posted by Roy on Monday, 05.31.10 @ 08:53am


Elton John and Leon Russell - The Union - Tentative Title of new album.

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 06.3.10 @ 11:46am


A PERFORMER HE MORES THAN MAKES IT


lbums
Year Album Peak chart positions
US US Country CAN CAN Country
1966 Rhapsodies for Young Lovers (with Midnight String Quartet) — — — —
1968 Look Inside the Asylum Choir (with Marc Benno) — — — —
1970 Leon Russell 60 — — —
1971 Leon Russell And The Shelter People 17 — 14 —
Asylum Choir II (with Marc Benno) 70 — — —
1972 Carney 2 — 4 —
1973 Leon Live 9 — 9 —
Hank Wilson's Back 28 15 85 —
Looking Back — — — —
1974 Stop All That Jazz 34 — 43 —
1975 Will O' the Wisp 30 — 72 —
1976 Best of Leon Russell 40 — — —
Wedding Album (with Mary Russell) 34 — — —
1977 Make Love to the Music (with Mary Russell) 142 — — —
1978 Americana 115 — — —
1979 One For the Road (with Willie Nelson) 25 3 28 1
Life and Love — — — —
1981 The Live Album (with New Grass Revival) 187 — — —
1984 Hank Wilson, Vol. 2 — — — —
Solid State — — — —
1989 Leon Russell — — — —
1992 Anything Can Happen — — — —
Crazy Love — — — —
Collection — — — —
1995 Hymns of Christmas — — — —
1996 Gimme Shelter: The Best of Leon Russell — — — —
1997 Retrospective — — — —
1998 Hank Wilson, Vol. 3: Legend in My Time — — — —
1999 Face in the Crowd — — — —
Blues: Same Old Song — — — —
2000 Live at Gilley's — — — —
2001 Best of Leon Russell — — — —
Guitar Blues — — — —
Signature Songs — — — —
Rhythm & Bluegrass: Hank Wilson, Vol. 4 (with New Grass Revival) — — — —
2002 Moonlight & Love Songs (with the Nashville Symphony) — — — —
2003 In Your Dreams — — — —
Bad Country — — — —
Almost Piano — — — —
2006 A Mighty Flood — — — —
Angel in Disguise — — — —

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 20:47pm


SIDEMBecoming a part of Phil Spector's studio group, Russell played backup for many of the most popular successes of the 1960s, including songs by The Byrds, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, and Herb Alpert. He also served as Snuff Garrett's assistant for numerous productions. For example, he played the xylophone/bells on the Bobby Russell (of no relation to Leon Russell) penned song "The Joker Went Wild" which was sung by Brian Hyland, in 1966. Russell had his own recording studio built during 1967 and, in a collaboration with Marc Benno, recorded his first LP (Look Inside the Asylum Choir).AN

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 20:48pm


is first songwriting success was Joe Cocker's 1969 version of "Delta Lady". Russell then went on to organise Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour.[3] "Superstar", co-written by Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, and sung by Rita Coolidge on that tour, would also be a success for The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, Sonic Youth, and several other performers.
WRITER

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 20:50pm


LEON
Has really done it all...and then a lot more and then some more !!!!!!! from studio musician , writer
Recording artist , Talent scout.. recorder producer engineering ,studio owner, record label etc etc etc Gosh all were BIG successes.. His bio is so long I doubt all the facts could be written in 3 1000 page volumes...

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 20:58pm


Great, but realistically, if/when he gets inducted, it'll only be in ONE (1) category. Pick one... which will it be?

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:00pm


mrxyzomg- I can't believe you made a pitch for Leon's writing credentials and left out "This Masquerade" and "A Song For You".
That said as a Performer I say no, sjde or non are his best shot.

Posted by Tom Lane on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:10pm


Realistically He can not be put in just 1 box it would underscore all the other boxes...He qualifies equal in all,, Having said that,, I guess Performer, would fit the best because he is a MASTER Performer in what ever he does From Sideman Writing performer Talent scout , Producer Recording . Studio owner, Lable Gosh really it is endless ..I would say a nomanation each year would be fitting

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:15pm


They could put Carole King in two categories... they haven't. They could put King Curtis, Willie Dixon, Dave Bartholomew, Little Walter, Bobby Womack... ALL in two categories. They haven't. They've only put them each in one. THAT'S the reality. So please sculpt your answer in the light of THAT reality. If it's for Performer, then you are ONLY discussing his credentials on songs and albums where he is the performing artist of credit. A nomination every year... just isn't going to happen. If they didn't do it for Carole King, they sure as hell ain't gonna do it for Leon Russell.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:22pm


I agree Philip some fit in many..I see no reason why they can't be in more than 1. Heck they put Buddy Holly in but not the Crickets same with Big Brother. Lennon ,McCartney ,Harrison are in twice... .Then there are a few I have no idea how they even got in before so many others LOL . It is a strange way to do things..

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:29pm


mrxyzomg- I can't believe you made a pitch for Leon's writing credentials and left out "This Masquerade" and "A Song For You".
That said as a Performer I say no, sjde or non are his best shot.

Posted by Tom Lane on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:10pm

Gosh I did?? Wow great HITS no doubt..
I would say all an some LOL

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:33pm


It was my understanding that the Crickets were the band that Holly threw together to keep from being found in breach of contract back when he did EVERYTHING on "That'll Be The Day." Yeah, there are several who are in twice, but notice when they're in twice, they're twice in Performer. There's been no crossover. IMO, those that COULD fit in in just about every category: that's what the Lifetime Achievement category should be for, OR for those who had a lengthy career contributing to rock'n'roll in several forms, but no one single incarnation being worthy of induction by itself (Johnny Maestro comes to mind, and maybe Paul Rodgers too).

But that's what could be, not what is. Based on what is, I really think Russell belongs MOST as a Side-Man.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:34pm


I CAN UNDERSTAND SIDEMAN BUT IT IS ALMOST A SLAP IN THE FACE. SO IF I HAD ONLY 1 2 CHOOZE IT WOULD BE.............................PERFORMER

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:40pm


Fair enough. I don't think "Performer" is a catchall for all his work, and that for which he is the primary, credited artist doesn't stack up as significantly as his Side work, but to each their own.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 21:57pm


Well from discovering Joe Cocker and Tom Petty to writing and performing also sideman.. It is a tuff call. His Performing was an is the highlight of his talent.. So That is why I say it

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 22:05pm


Hmmm...I'll bet anything that's news to Tom Petty and Joe Cocker. The next time I'm at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison (which will be before the end of summer...great drive!!!), I'll have to stop in Crawford at the little diner and ask Cocker about that...he's there a lot!

Posted by Gitarzan on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 22:28pm


Hmmm...I'll bet anything that's news to Tom Petty and Joe Cocker. The next time I'm at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison (which will be before the end of summer...great drive!!!), I'll have to stop in Crawford at the little diner and ask Cocker about that...he's there a lot!

Posted by Gitarzan on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 22:28pm

LOL I bet it ain't news It maybe something he wants to forget ,, I remember when Noah Shark Denny Cordell an Madd man Max Told me one day and I believe them .When they were at Shelter Records {LEONS STUDIO}They dragged Tom in and told him they were going to make him as big star as big the sign that says HOLLYWOOD,,, LOL
Who do you think put madd dog an Englishman together LOL The Beatles..? LOL

Posted by mrxyz on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 22:39pm


Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - You're Gonna Get It!
Label:
Shelter Recording Company Inc., ABC Records
Catalog#:
9309-52029, 9309-52029
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress
Country:
Canada
Released:
1978
Genre:
Rock
Style:
Rock & Roll, Pop Rock
Tracklist
A1 When The Time Comes
A2 You're Gonna Get It
A3 Hurt
A4 Magnolia
A5 Too Much Ain't Enough
B1 I Need To Know
B2 Listen To Her Heart
B3 No Second Thoughts
B4 Restless
B5 Baby's A Rock 'N' Roller
Credits
Engineer - Max Reese , Noah Shark
Producer - Denny Cordell , Noah Shark , Tom Petty
Notes

Posted by mrxyzomg on Tuesday, 07.6.10 @ 23:20pm


mrxyz...There's honestly no need for you to defend Leon Russell's credentials and I wouldn't question them. I was merely pointing out like Philip said, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland tends to pick ONE category and if they ever induct Leon Russell (which they absolutely should) it would most likely be as a sideman. but yes, he's had a solid career as both a session musician, composer and performer. He did it all and he deserves recognition for it. No argument there.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 07.7.10 @ 02:02am



I think the R@RHOF is cheating one of the all time greats out of what is rightffully his. To be quite honest, I thought he was already in there. You people in Cleveland are nuts and I live in Ohio. Give the the master of space and time what belongs to him.

Posted by Linda ONeill on Wednesday, 08.25.10 @ 23:46pm


Face In The Crowd is a masterpiece, as is Signature Songs. It is absurd that Leon Russell is not in the R&R Hall of Fame.

Posted by Scott on Wednesday, 09.8.10 @ 13:05pm


Maybe Leon Russell and Bernie Taupin will be inducted in the same year!

Posted by Roy on Monday, 09.13.10 @ 14:09pm


1000x's yes

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 09.15.10 @ 10:52am


I think Axl Rose sounds like Leon Russell.

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 09.19.10 @ 05:34am


After reading all these post, I too am appalled that LEON RUSSELL has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame! Seriously folks , there are some those already in the Hall of Fame that are so FAR LESS DESERVING than Leon Russell that it is completely OFFENSIVE to me as an avid music fan! For Pete sake, are you waiting for Leon to pass before giving him his WELL DESERVED DUE?! I think that would be a travesty beyond words! It isn't that hard to look at Leon's works, songs, writing & above all IMMENSE influence he has had on SO many other artists! Please Hall of Fame, for the sake of MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of Leon Russell fans, do the right thing this year & induct Mr. Russell into it! As the above posters said- HE DESERVES IT! HE OUGHT TO BE HONORED for his HARD work and DEDICATION to the music industry!! I sincerely hope these words of myself & all those above me who commented will not fall on deaf ears! Time to induct a WELL DESERVED, ONE OF A KIND, ABOVE TALENTED MUSICIAN.......Leon Russell.
Thank you

Posted by Natasha on Friday, 09.24.10 @ 21:32pm


Natasha He has done it all... musician side to the Showman.. Recorded Producer, talent scout even record label and of course writer!

Posted by mrxyxomg on Saturday, 09.25.10 @ 06:59am


ELTON JOHN / LEON RUSSELL / THE UNION

Songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

01. Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes
02. Hey Ahab
03. Gone To Shiloh
04. Monkey Suit
05. The Best Part Of The Day
06. When Love Is Dying
07. My Kind Of H-ll
08. Mandalay Again
09. Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)

Songs written by Elton John and Leon Russell

01. A Dream Come True

Songs written by Leon Russell and Bernie Taupin

01. I Should Have Sent Roses

Songs written by Leon Russell

01. If It Wasn't For Bad
02. Hearts Have Turned To Stone
03. In The Hands Of Angels

Songs written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin, T Bone Burnett

01. Jimmie Rodgers' Dream

Songs written by Elton John, Leon Russell, James Timothy Shaw, T Bone Burnett

01. There's No Tomorrow

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 10.26.10 @ 02:58am


This month's Rolling Stone magazine now in stores. Keith Richards on the cover. Page 57-58 - David Fricke's review of the Union. 5 STARS *****

Picture of Elton John and Leon Russell.

Mentioned on the cover too!

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 10.26.10 @ 03:00am


REALLY? C'mon folks, turn off your car radio and get those iPod plugs out of your ears, and listen to Leon. Then, try doing some research, not just reading, but listening through the years and talk to some of the rockers you've already privileged with membership in the Hall of Fame. Whatever. JUST WAKE UP, SMELL THE COFFEE, and INDUCT LEON, you twits!

Posted by Jim AtBeach on Monday, 11.8.10 @ 07:07am


http://songhall.org/vote/entry/1096

Leon Russell is nominated for the 2011 Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Leon Russell

A versatile musician whose session credits ranged from Herb Alpert to Phil Spector, Oklahoma native Leon Russell also had wide-ranging success as a songwriter. His stint as music director for Joe Cocker resulted in his initial songwriting success—Cocker’s 1969 hit “Delta Lady.” He scored his own hit in 1972 with “Tight Rope,” and also wrote “Superstar,” which became a big hit for both the Carpenters and Luther Vandross.

Key songs in the Russell catalog include “A Song for You,” “Delta Lady,” “Superstar,” “This Masquerade” and “Tight Rope.”

Posted by Roy on Monday, 11.8.10 @ 14:49pm


Oh boy, Leon Russell is being inducted into the Rock Hall in 2011 and he is nominated for the 2011 Songwriters Hall of Fame. If he is inducted into the 2011 Song Hall too, he will join that group of artists who have been inducted into the Rock Hall and the Song Hall in the same year. I hope it happens.

Also, very strange, Darlene Love gets the performers category, while Leon Russell gets the sidemen category!

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 12.14.10 @ 18:38pm


It's about time, Leon has influenced more rock legends than can be counted. He should have gotten in years ago, on the writing of one of the greatest love songs ever,"A Song for You", alone. A producer, musician, singer/songwriter and sideman extrodinair.

Posted by Bruce on Thursday, 01.20.11 @ 11:48am


His rock hall bio mentions Elton John, but not Bernie Taupin. We have to wait and see how the Alice Cooper bio turns out.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 02.15.11 @ 06:46am


ARTISTS INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND THE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME IN THE SAME YEAR:

01. 1986 - Chuck Berry
02. 1997 - Joni Mitchell
03. 1999 - Bruce Springsteen
04. 2000 - James Taylor
05. 2010 - Jesse Stone
06. 2011 - Leon Russell

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 02.22.11 @ 05:21am


No mention of Bernie Taupin in the Alice Cooper or Leon Russell bios on the Rock Hall's website.

Posted by Roy on Monday, 03.14.11 @ 21:32pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT5aYRgmgyM

Leon Russell Rock Hall Induction

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 03.24.11 @ 22:44pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIGEbvpawRw&feature=channel_video_title

Another Leon Russell Rock Hall Induction video

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 03.24.11 @ 22:47pm


Leon Russell's 2011 too-long-in-coming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is continuing proof that pettiness and grudge-holding thrive at the top of RRHOFF's (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame FOUNDATION'S) inductee nominating committee (and some Board members) - see my 2/18/08 post as regards the Foundation's [continued] insignificance.

Or perhaps I'm just older than these nominating folks are or was hallucinating more than they were in the 1970s - or both.

Mr. Russell was inducted into the RRHOF this year under the category of 'Sideman' defined on its website as: '[A] category introduced in 2000 honoring those musicians who have spent their careers out of the spotlight, performing as backup musicians for major artists on recording sessions and in concert. Though they often play a key role in the creation of memorable music, the public rarely knows them by name. A separate committee, composed primarily of producers, selects the inductees in this category. Please note that in 2011, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Recording Excellence has replaced the Sidemen category.'

http://rockhall.com/inductees/induction-process/

So there you have it: Apparently only I and millions of others who packed global and gigantic venues HEADLINED by Leon Russell in the 1970s viewed him as a “major artist” Square pegs into round holes might be an apt comparison to the inappropriate categorization of Leon Russell by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation's 'nominating committee' as 'Sideman'. (I'm pretty sure that my hallucinations didn't span the whole of the half-decade during Russell's headlining and Grammy-winning years. After all, I graduated from college somewhere in there. Also, I'm pretty sure Jann Wenner is older than I am even though he appears to be aging better than me. He should remember fer cryin' out loud since his magazine was immortalized in a not-so-complimentary Leon Russell song: "If the Shoe Fits" from his best-selling album, Carney. I'd be willing to bet the residual of my 2008 real estate holdings that Mr. Wenner remembers that song all too well.)

The point here is that the 'Sideman' category definition of 'the public rarely knows them by name' is way off base in this case. I recall one of several Leon Russell concerts where his opening act was this great little trio with its up-and-coming powerhouse pianist: Elton John (pre-Sir).

Again, RRHOFF defines an artist inducted in the 'Sideman' category as someone who 'perform[s] as backup musician for major artists on recording sessions and in concert'. Some of the musicians who backed up the performing artist, Leon Russell, on his first solo album were: Mick Jagger, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Joe Cocker. Yet another American uber talent who had to look to England for a career toehold... But I digress.

I believe it is no coincidence that the 2011 RRHOFF threatened a change to the category title from 'Sideman' to 'Award for Recording Excellence' as almost an afterthought while still (and improperly) referring to Leon Russell as ‘Sideman’. Let's see if subsequent years' change in this category title from ‘Sideman’ to 'Award for Recording Excellence' inductees sticks or becomes prominently displayed, unlike it was for 2011. Take a stroll through the RRHOF's 'Sideman' inductees for prior years and see if you can come up with many clear similarities between those artists (no disrespect intended) and Leon Russell.

I suspect Sir Elton John's hands were pounding on more than his piano when he learned of Leon Russell's induction as 'Sideman'.

On a positive note, and as no surprise because Rolling Stone Magazine probably had a major hand in it, the Bio on RRHOF's website for Leon Russell is, by far, the best I have ever come across. Apparently and regrettably, the nominating committee didn't read it.

Posted by S. Elsworth on Friday, 04.1.11 @ 11:20am


THE 2011 SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME

John Bettis
Garth Brooks
Leon Russell
Billy Steinberg
Tom Kelly
Allen Toussaint

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 04.5.11 @ 17:40pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT5aYRgmgyM

2011 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: Leon Russell

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 05.11.11 @ 07:23am


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIGEbvpawRw

More Leon Russell at Rock Hall

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 05.12.11 @ 04:25am


Artist.. WTF? :)

Posted by www.futurerocklegends.com on Friday, 06.3.11 @ 03:24am


Leon Russell is the Master in the music industry. He sings every song like he owns it whether it is one of his or someone elses. I saw him in a little place called the Pine Tavern in Floyd VA. It was a small place but he performed like it was Madison Square Gardens. After the show I was very lucky to get to talk with him for a couple of minutes. Leon was so nice and kind to me. I will never forget it for as long as I live. Leon you are the best and I am sooo glad that Elton John has helped to bring you back to the forefront again. Rock on----we love you Leon.

Posted by Brenda on Tuesday, 10.4.11 @ 00:24am


Leon Russell songs with lyrics by Bernie Taupin

01. 2010 Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes
02. 2010 Hey Ahab
03. 2010 Gone to Shiloh
04. 2010 Jimmie Rodgers' Dream
05. 2010 Monkey Suit
06. 2010 The Best Part of the Day
07. 2010 I Should Have Sent Roses
08. 2010 When Love Is Dying
09. 2010 My Kind of Hell
10. 2010 Mandalay Again
11. 2010 Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 12.15.12 @ 02:05am


Dammit. RIP Leon. That makes ten. :(

http://www.leonrussellrecords.com/news.shtml

http://www.newson6.com/story/33696697/leon-russell-dies-at-age-74

Posted by dmg on Sunday, 11.13.16 @ 09:37am


I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Leon Russell. My most sincere condolences to his family and friends. :-(

Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 11.13.16 @ 10:42am


Rest in Peace Leon Russell, 1942-2016.

Posted by Joe on Sunday, 11.13.16 @ 10:43am


None of Leon Russell's albums re-charted on Billboard 200. Very strange.

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 12.1.16 @ 20:39pm


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