Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n' roll. In his distinguished and unique 50-year career, he has played on, arranged, written, and/or produced some of the best records in popular music, and he has worked with a colossal list of all-star musicians and groups, including (but certainly not limited to) Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, and The Righteous Brothers.
Born in southwest Oklahoma in 1942, Russell left home for Los Angeles at 17 and quickly became part of an elite group of studio musicians called the Wrecking Crew, playing on hundreds of hit records in the 1960s. He founded Shelter Records with partner Denny Cordell and released his first self-titled release in 1970, which featured classic Russell songs "A Song For You," "Hummingbird," and "Delta Lady." Since then, he has released over 25 albums, including the Gold-certified Leon Russell and The Shelter People (1971), Carney (1972, "Tight Rope"), Hank Wilson's Back (1973), and Will O' The Wisp (1975, "Lady Blue"); numerous releases on Paradise Records (a Warner Bros. label), including Make Love To The Music (1977), Americana (1978), and Solid State (1984); and over 10 albums on his own label Leon Russell Records, including his most recent release, The Best of Leon Russell, released in April of 2011.
As a songwriter, Russell's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. He has contributed to dozens of legendary concerts, tours, and albums, including the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour and live album with Joe Cocker in 1970, Eric Clapton's first solo album, and the legendary 1971 Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year and was given the Award for Recording Excellence. He was also recently selected for the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He continues to write songs, record, and thrill audiences on his non-stop tours across the country.