I first saw Leon Russell in 1972. He appeared in a movie.
Just months before, ex-Beatle George Harrison had organized the first-ever rock n’ roll charity benefit concert. The all-star gala was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City and featured a virtual “who’s who” of 1970’s pop scene. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, even Bob Dylan showed up after a long self-imposed hiatus, making his first live concert appearance in five years.
But the unlikely star of the evening, who ended up stealing a show, tuned out to be the pianist — a tall and lankly, stringy-haired, graveyard-voiced punch-the-time clock session player named Leon Russell.
Most of us had never heard the name Leon Russell until that epic concert. Later, the Concert for Bangladesh was wrapped up and packaged into a 3-hour mega-movie and also released as a triple-album, unheard of in that time. [The Concert for Bangladesh is a remarkable story in its own — read more HERE].Read More