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Leon Russell

Leon Russell

44 articles

Audio interviews

Leon Russell (1998)

Interview by Andy Gill, Rock's Backpages audio, May 1998

The singer-songwriter-bandleader takes us from playing bars as a 14-year-old in Oklahoma to George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh via sessions in L.A. for Phil Spector: being a part of L.A.'s Wrecking Crew; playing electric piano on the Byrds' 'Mr. Tambourine Man'; meeting Delaney & Bonnie; English producer Denny Cordell and his Shelter label; putting together Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen; J.J. Cale, Freddie King and Willis Alan Ramsey; the all-star cast on his first solo album; his famous songs ‘A Song For You’ and ‘This Masquerade’ becoming standards... and working with Bob Dylan and so many others.

File format: mp3; file size: 61.8mb, interview length: 1h 04' 24" sound quality: ****

Leon Russell (1998)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages audio, Spring 1998

From the clubs of Tulsa, via Los Angeles, Phil Spector and the Shelter People, to Nashville and a return to country roots — Leon Russell remembers... well, some of it.

File format: mp3; file size: 55.9mb, interview length: 58' 10" sound quality: * (phone interview)

List of articles in the library

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The Asylum Choir: A Home Set Up Beats the System

Interview by Pete Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 25 November 1968

ROCK ARTISTS have been spending increasing amounts of time in recording studios during the past couple of years. Many contemporary albums now require several months ...

Leon's 'Lady' lucky for Joe Cocker

Interview by Richard Green, New Musical Express, 15 November 1969

Transatlantic interview by RICHARD GREEN ...

The Joe Cocker Show... Mad Dogs And Englishmen

Report and Interview by Dave Marsh, Creem, April 1970


Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Van Morrison, the Stonemans: Fillmore West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, The San Francisco Examiner, 24 April 1970

Cocker's Classy Collection of Rock Freaks ...

Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA

Live Review by Ann Moses, New Musical Express, 2 May 1970


Leon Russell — Super Group?

Interview by Rob Partridge, Record Mirror, 16 May 1970

THERE ARE GROUPS, super-groups and super-super-groups. But there must be a new name for a combination of Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, ...

Leon Russell: Leon Russell (A&M AMLS 982)

Review by Rob Partridge, Record Mirror, 16 May 1970

A GRAND OLD rave-up featuring Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watt, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Stevie Winwood, Delaney and Ronnie Bramlett, Chris Stainton, Joe Cocker ...

The Who, John B. Sebastian, the Blues Image, Leon Russell: Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim CA

Live Review by Ann Moses, New Musical Express, 4 July 1970


The Mad Dog Diary

Sleeve notes by John Mendelssohn, 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' (A&M Records), August 1970

11th MARCH 1970. Joe Cocker flies into Los Angeles with the intentions of recuperating from grueling months on the road and forming a new band ...

Leon Russell: King of the Delta Rockers

Interview by Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, 29 August 1970

Top US session man LEON RUSSELL talks to Mark Plummer. ...

Curtis Mayfield: Curtis (Curtom); Joe Cocker: Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (A&M)

Review by Mike Gormley, Detroit Free Press, 1 September 1970

Mayfield, Solo, Comes on Strong ...

Leon Russell, the Grease Band, Juicy Lucy, Status Quo: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, 13 February 1971


Leon Russell: Working Hard At the Lyceum

Live Review by Robert Greenfield, Rolling Stone, 1 April 1971

LONDON – " you thought I couldn't rock and roll," the piano player says, plunging into the music. ...

Joe Cocker: Mad Dogs & Englishmen (A&M Film))

Film/DVD/TV Review by Richard Cromelin, Creem, June 1971

Something Like a Rock'n'Roll Tour ...

George Harrison et al: Concert for Bangla Desh, Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Mike Jahn, The New York Times, 2 August 1971

Raga and Rock Link 2 Cultures ...

George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar et al: Concert for Bangla Desh, Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Nancy Lewis, New Musical Express, 7 August 1971


Music Makers: Don Nix

Interview by Michael Oberman, Evening Star, The (Washington DC), 2 October 1971

DON NIX got his start in music as a Memphis choir boy and the gospel influence of those days has left its mark on him. ...

George Harrison & Friends: The Concert for Bangladesh (Apple)

Review by Geoffrey Cannon, The Guardian, 4 January 1972

Update, 2019: The first time I met George Harrison was in the late 1960s, when he was still a Beatle. I quite often went to ...

Cordell, the Coaxer Behind Cocker

Interview by Danny Holloway, New Musical Express, 4 March 1972

DENNY CORDELL roamed around the music business in London during the early sixties before discovering the Moody Blues and consequently becoming their producer. He assisted ...

Concert for Bangla Desh (Dir. Saul Swimmer; 20th Century Fox)

Film/DVD/TV Review by Nancy Lewis, New Musical Express, 1 April 1972


Marc Benno: More Minnows to Come

Interview by Judith Sims, Rolling Stone, 22 June 1972

LOS ANGELES — Marc Benno used to be Leon Russell's musical partner; as the notorious Asylum Choir they made two albums together in Los Angeles ...

The Perils of a Rock and Roll Reporter

Report by Lillian Roxon, New York Sunday News, 1 October 1972

WITH INFINITE sadness and deep sorrow, I would like to announce I won't be covering any more events at the Nassau Coliseum, unless I am ...

Leon Russell: The Forum, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Jacoba Atlas, Circus, December 1972

WHEN LEON Russell took center stage at the Los Angeles Forum the pre-performance excitement had reached Rolling Stone proportions. As unbelievable as it seemed, Russell ...

Leon Russell: Live At The Long Beach Arena (Shelter STCO-8917)

Review by Arthur Levy, Zoo World, 16 August 1973

PHIL SPECTOR released the first Ronettes LP on Philles ('63) following the success of 'Be My Baby' and 'Baby I Love You' and the Crystals' ...

Leon Russell: Ontario Motor Speedway

Live Review by David Rensin, Rolling Stone, 30 August 1973

"SURE, WE'D LIKE this to be another Watkins Glen," laughed publicist Gary Stromberg, as the blistering sun crept slowly into the sky over the San ...


Column by Mark Shipper, Phonograph Record, October 1973

ONE OF ROCK'S great unanswered questions (due to the fact that nobody cares enough to ask it) is this one: exactly what is bugging Leon ...


Column by Mark Shipper, Phonograph Record, November 1973

IT WAS AN unusually hot week in Kingston, Jamaica. Early spring this year. I was having lunch at an outdoor cafe with an up and ...

Something's Right In Austin: Commander Cody's Live Armadillo LP Proclaims a Texas Renaissance

Report by Michael Gross, Zoo World, 14 March 1974

HIPPY DIED in 1967. Time Magazine was the accused murderer, but the case was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. Since then, all ...

Denny Cordell: The Cordial Englishman

Interview by Martin Hayman, Sounds, 8 June 1974

DENNY CORDELL is not at all like my image of him. Well in fact, I didn't know what to expect but he was not like ...

Portrait Of The Artist: Leon Russell

Profile by Arthur Levy, Zoo World, 4 July 1974

The Oklahoma Master of Space and Time: Duke Ellington, Phil Spector, Leon Russell ...

A Recording Studio And Offices For Shelter Records: An Interview With Leon Russell

Interview by David A. Williams, unpublished, 10 December 1974

"I ORGANIZED Shelter Records in Los Angeles in 1970. In 1972, I decided to move back to Tulsa to open one of the few recording ...

Leon Russell: Russell's Hustle...

Report by uncredited writer, Sounds, 11 October 1975

LEON RUSSELL, obviously displeased with the low sales of his last album, Will O'The Wisp, is trying a new idea to stimulate things for his ...

Leon and Mary Russell: Nassau Coliseum

Live Review by Wesley Strick, Blast, October 1976

ISAAC HAYES may be Black Moses, but Leon Russell is goddamm Charlton Heston himself! Remember the way Heston looked, coming down off Sinai? The cat ...

Even Under the Guise of Hank Wilson, Leon Russell is a Legend in his Time

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, 11 September 1998

"How many days has it been since I was born/How many days until I die/Do I know any ways that I can make you laugh/Or ...

Leon Russell

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, 'Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music', 2001

b. Hank Wilson, 2 April 1941, Lawton, Oklahoma, USA ...

Leon Russell: Signature Songs

Review by Sylvie Simmons, MOJO, June 2002

UNPLUGGED IS one of Leon Russell's "least favourite terms in modern music". But unplugged, more or less, is what this is – recorded at the ...

All Star's Concert For T Bone Is Well Done

Live Review by Jim Sullivan, Boston Herald, 18 October 2010

I FIRST SAW T Bone Burnett in 1975 when he was 27 and one of the less-known musicians on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour. ...

Elton John/Leon Russell: The Union

Review by Bud Scoppa, Uncut, November 2010

Elton reconnects with his original mentor, under the watchful eye of T Bone Burnett. And Neil Young guests! ...

Leon Russell: Powerstation, Auckland

Live Review by Graham Reid, Elsewhere, April 2011

BECAUSE WE KNOW keyboard players do their work sitting down, few would have been worried when Leon Russell – 69, walking with a cane – ...

Ever the Journeyman: Leon Russell Interviewed

Retrospective and Interview by Graham Reid, Elsewhere, 13 April 2011

WHEN LEON RUSSELL left his home in Tulsa for Los Angeles after having played in teenage rock bands, a career in music wasn't what he ...

Leon Russell: Life Journey

Review by Holly Gleason, Paste, 1 April 2014

LEON RUSSELL'S VOICE sounds like parched earth, cracked and its essence crawled out: raw, blistering, molten to the touch and savory in all the right ...

Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Obituary by Dave Laing, The Guardian, 14 November 2016

IN 2010, ELTON JOHN surprised his fans by releasing an album in collaboration with the pianist, singer and songwriter Leon Russell, whom he described as ...

see also Claudia Lennear

see also Asylum Choir, The


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