He was born in Lawton Oklahoma, next to where the DIs stomped my guts out for eight grueling weeks. He is an alumni of Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, along with David Gates (lead singer of Bread) and Elvin Bishop. He has played for, written for, and worked with more artists than Kerry's and Obama's flip-flops put together. His songs have been redone by many other artists throughout the decades , but his biggest commercial success came in the 70s.
This weekend PYY features the music of the famous Okie known as, Leon Russell.
His first songwriting hit was one that he wrote for Joe Cocker in 1969. Here is Leon's version of Delta Lady:
His first hit in his own right was a little tune that I remember saturating the rock airwaves in 1972. From his smash hit album Carney, here is Tightrope:
From the same album comes a song that was redone by the Carpenters, Shirley Bassey, and George Benson. This is the original version of the immortal song, entitled, This Masquerade:
A little wine, some cheese, and candlelight went well with this next tune. On a special date in the 70s, this one would score you some points with the ladies and might even do it, today. Here is Lady Blue:
No feature of Mr. Russell can be complete without this next one. Here is Leon with some well-known friends, which many of us older folks will recognize. This one is a medley called Jumpin' Jack Flash/Youngblood: