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 Leon Russell

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Leon Russell

  • Original Name Claude Russell Bridges
  • Birth 2 Apr 1942 Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Death 13 Nov 2016 Hermitage, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
  • Burial Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Memorial ID 172674705

American Musician, Songwriter and Producer. Born Claude Russell Bridges, he first achieved widespread recognition as a member of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, then later, through his collaborations with Joe Cocker. He was playing in bars in Tulsa at age 14 and joined a band that included J.J. Cale. In the late-1950s, Russell moved to Los Angeles and became part of a talented pool of studio musicians known informally as the Wrecking Crew who provided back up for pop and rock hits of '60s, including those by Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys, the Monkees and the Byrds. Russell also was part of producer Phil Spector's trademark "Wall of Sound" recording team, and also worked as an arranger, musician and songwriter for the popular television dance show "Shindig". In 1969, Russell and Denny Cordell started Shelter Records, which put out recordings by Russell, Cale, Freddie King, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Phoebe Snow. In 1970, he joined Joe Cocker's band for the landmark Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, serving as the leader of the 20-piece band on a riotous two-month U.S. tour that spawned a double-disc live album, a documentary film, and inspired him to co-write “Superstar”. His work with Cocker, an appearance in the film about George Harrison's 1971 "Concert for Bangladesh" and his first solo album, which featured contributions from three Rolling Stones and two Beatles, made Russell a star in his own right. In 1970, his own self-titled solo album was released, containing his signature track, “A Song for You”. In the following years he had his biggest chart successes with 1972’s “Tight Rope” and 1975’s “Lady Blue.” Over a five-decade period, he recorded over 30 albums, worked as a producer, songwriter, studio collaborator and touring partner for artists such as the Rolling Stones, Freddie King and Bob Dylan. Russell, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, suffered a heart attack in July, 2016, but was expected to make a full recovery.

Bio by: Louis du Mort


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Louis du Mort
  • Added: 13 Nov 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 172674705
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Leon Russell (2 Apr 1942–13 Nov 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 172674705, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .