Leon Russell has always been one of my major influences. The silver long hair and mirrored sunglasses aside, Russell’s keyboard style and performance charisma were traits to be admired among other keyboardists. In the early days with Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, many thought, myself included, that Russell would always be a lifelong A-list legend. Though he kept playing most of his life, he seemed to drop off the nation’s radar in the early eighties. He was back again when Elton John looked him up in 2010 for a new album and a subsequent Rock & Roll Hall of fame nomination.
Here are two great YouTube videos. The first the Homewood recording of 1970, Leon at his best, running his own unscripted studio show. The second, his nomination into the R&R Hall of Fame – enjoy!