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Leon Russell

1941

laude Russell Bridges (a.k.a. Leon Russell) is born in Lawton, Oklahoma.

1958

Leon Russell moves to Los Angeles, where, as a talented but underaged prodigy, he’ll find work as a live and session musician.

1965

“Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout the Young,” Leon Russell’s first solo single, is released on Dot Records.

1968

Leon Russell and Mark Benno begin recording their first album as the Asylum Choir, which will be released as Look Inside the Asylum Choir later this year.

1969

The duo of Leon Russell and Marc Benno begin making their second album as the Asylum Choir at Russell’s Skyhill Studios. It will be released two years later, after Russell has become popular as a solo artist.

1969

Accept No Substitute – The Original Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, a landmark roots album, arranged by Leon Russell (who also plays piano), enters the album chart.

1970

Leon Russell releases his self-titled solo album, which will reach #60. It includes the classic “A Song for You.”

1970

Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, featuring Leon Russell as musical director, performs the first show of a two-month tour in Detroit.

1970

The Mad Dogs & Englishmen, featuring vocalist Joe Cocker, performs at New York’s Fillmore East, a recording of which will be released as a double album.

1971

Leon Russell & the Shelter People, the singer/pianist’s second album, is released. It will reach #17.

1971

The Carpenters’ recording of “Superstar,” written by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, peaks at #2 for two weeks (behind Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”).

1972

Carney, Leon Russell’s third album, is released. It will peak at #2 for four weeks.

1972

Leon Russell’s “Tight Rope” enters the singles chart, where it will peak at #11.

1973

The triple album Leon Live, taken from a performance at the Long Beach Arena the previous August, is released.

1973

Leon Russell releases Hank Wilson’s Back, an album of favorite country songs. He will ultimately record three more albums using the Hank Wilson persona.

1975

“Lady Blue,” by Leon Russell, enters the chart, where it will peak at #14.

1976

George Benson’s recording of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade” enters the singles chart. It will peak at #10 and win a Grammy for Record of the Year.

1976

Leon Russell releases The Wedding Album, the first of two albums he’ll make with wife Mary Russell. Make Love to the Music will follow a year later.

1976

The Best of Leon Russell becomes Russell’s fifth solo album to be certified gold by the RIAA.

1978

Leon Russell’s Americana is released. It will be his last studio album of new songs for fourteen years.

1979

One for the Road, a live double album by Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, enters the album chart, where it will peak at #25.

1981

Leon Russell’s The Live Album, recorded two years earlier with the New Grass Revival, enters the album chart.

1984

Hank Wilson Volume II, Leon Russell’s second album of country-music covers – and the only album he’ll record in his musically least-active decade – is released.

1992

Anything Can Happen, Leon Russell’s first release in eight years, is issued on Virgin Records.

1996

Gimme Shelter: The Best of Leon Russell, a two-disc retrospective, is released.

1999

Leon Russell’s Face in the Crowd is released. It comes less than a year after the third volume in his country-music series using the pseudonym Hank Wilson.

2001

Leon Russell’s Signature Songs, an album of solo re-recordings of eleven of his best-known numbers, becomes the first release on the artist’s namesake label.

2010

The Union, a collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell, is released. It will enter the album chart at #3, its peak position.

2011

Leon Russell’s induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame is announced.

2011

Leon Russell is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 26th annual induction ceremony in New York. Elton John is his presenter.