Singer, songwriter, sideman, bandleader, American treasure Leon Russell has done it all. Russell became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 in recognition of a career that has brushed against many of rock’s most influential and elite characters. It’s a belated honor to one of the true unsung greats of the game.
With his trademark top hat, long silver locks, and old-prospector beard, Leon Russell has always cut a flamboyant figure as instantly memorable as his music. Whether you’ve heard him pumping out his own hits like “Tight Rope,” or hammering the 88s behind the likes of Bob Dylan and Joe Cocker, you knowRussell the moment he enters your ears. Even those who’ve never heard a note he recorded are more intimate with him than they realize — he’s played with them all — Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and The Rolling Stones to name a few.
Bits of blues, rock, gospel, bluegrass, and more come bounding out of his tunes, sometimes all at once, making up a style whose only possible label is simply “Leon Russell.”