Leon Russell is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as a pianist.
In 1971 Leon Russell performed at KCET studios in Los Angeles, a performance which was broadcast on TV (supposedly it was the first ever stereo rock & roll broadcast). Joining him was a band consisting of Joey Cooper (guitar), Don Preston (guitar), John Gallie (organ), Jim Horn (sax), Carl Radle (bass) and Chuck Blackwell (drums). This same band (minus Jim Horn) also backed him for his 1973 Leon Live album. Backing vocals came from Claudia Lennear and Kathi McDonald, and there were also guest spots from Don Nix and old bluesman Furry Lewis.
The set consisted of songs from Russell's first two albums, plus some interesting covers - Bob Dylan's "Girl From The North Country" (which he had been performing as a duet with Joe Cocker the year before), Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man", an instrumental reading of Van Morrison's "Caravan", the traditional gospel tune "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women". Nix and Lewis also got to sing a song of their own each.
Recordings of this concert broadcast have seen much bootlegging activity over the years, as they make for an excellent live album. Unfortunately the sound quality is not particularly great, but its nevertheless a very interesting listen.
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