Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Leon Russell To Perform At Schwab Auditorium

The revered and respected Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and singer-songwriter Leon Russell will perform at Schwab Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m, presented by Greenhouse Productions.

Tickets will range from $30-$50, and while there’s nothing about the event on the Center for the Performing Arts website, tickets are available through the Greenhouse Productions siteand this sign hanging downtown at Bradley’s indicated that the show is a go.

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Russell is an industry staple that has played, arranged, written, or produced some of the most famous records in music history with some of the most notable musicians. It’s a list that includes but is not limited to: Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby “Boris” Pickett, and B.B. King; and spans genres from pop to gospel, and nearly everything in between.

Russell was born in Oklahoma in 1942, and quickly burst on to the music scene as a pianist. Hardly 17 years later, he found himself playing the hottest nightclubs in Los Angeles, working with top producers and musical talent. With Denny Cordell, he founded Shelter Records and released his self-titled first album, a set of tracks that included features from Beatles and Rolling Stones stars.

Songwriting successes and other musical accomplishments soon followed. Ray Charles, B.B. King, The Carpenters, George Benson, and Joe Cocker all recorded versions of Russell’s lyrics to commercial success.

Following a slew of top rock albums, Russell released his first truly country album under a new name: Hank Wilson. Like previous albums, it went gold, reaffirming his position as a king of many genres. A “Best Of” album was released three years later. In 2011, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March as well as the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Here’s Russell’s popular “A Song For You,” a remorseful plea that’s been covered by Beyoncé, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, and many, many others.

Photo: Jennifer Bronenkant

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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