Singer-songwriter icon and the king of the recording studio, Leon Russell, was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Leon Russell tour dates have been scheduled nationally throughout May, 2011. Russell is a music historian and a storyteller who's his live shows will bring you through the decades allowing you to hear the evolution of rock music.
Leon Russell may be more famous as a studio musician who has collaborated with the world's most famous and acclaimed performers, however, he has released dozens of solo studio albums and is a legendary solo musician in his own right. Born in Oklahoma, a young Russell learned how to play the piano at age four and was already booking performances at Tulsa nightclubs by the time he was in high school. He began working as a studio musician right out of school and since the '60s has been one of the most sought after studio musicians in the business. During his illustrious career he has worked with such legendary performers as Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Rolling Stones.
With production and songwriting credits for everyone from Eric Clapton to Ray Charles, his mix of rockabilly, country, rock and folk helped create what later became known as the "Tulsa Sound". He became a part of Phil Spector's coalition of studio musicians and he helped craft hit songs for other musicians including Joe Cocker's 1969 hit "Delta Lady". He released several albums in the late '60s before reaching critical and commercial acclaim with 1971's "Leon Russell and The Shelter People", which became his first gold certified record. In the same year, Russell also collaborated in the studio with rock icons Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan.
In 1972 Leon Russell tour dates were booked throughout the US and music from the concert dates were eternalized on the album "Leon Live", which is one of his most critically and commercially successful albums to-date. In 1972, Russell also released his highest charting album, "Carney", which featured the hit single "Tight Rope". Russell continued to collaborate, write, record, and produce music throughout the '70s and he scored a #1 country hit with Willie Nelson in 1979 with their cover of "Heartbreak Hotel". Russell continued to record and produce music throughout the next three decades. However, he recently returned to the public eye with a high profile collaboration with Elton John. The two produced the highly acclaimed and successful album, "The Union", which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200. This marked Russell's second highest charting entry and the first time he had been to the top ten on the album charts in nearly four decades.
The collaboration album was heralded by critics and fans alike and the single "If It Wasn't For Bad" was nominated at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Rolling Stone rated the album #3 on their list of the Best 30 Albums of 2010. The critical acclaim for Russell and renewed interest in his music continued to gain traction when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, 2011.
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