Leon Russell, born Claude Russell Bridges, was a solo artist who was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and began his music career in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was involved with numerous bestselling pop music records during his 60-year career. His genres included pop, country, rock, folk, gospel, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk rock, blues rock, surf, standards, and Tulsa Sound.
1956—1971: Beginnings & "Leon Russell"
As a pianist, he played in his early years on albums by The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and Jan and Dean. On his first album, Leon Russell, in 1970, the musicians included Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.
Russell produced and played in recording sessions for, among others Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Rolling Stones. He wrote and recorded the hits "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue". He performed at The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 along with Harrison, Dylan, and Clapton, for which he earned a Grammy Award.
2010: "The Union"
His collaborations rank as some of the most successful in music history and, as a touring musician, he performed with hundreds of notable artists. He recorded 33 albums and at least 430 songs. He wrote "Delta Lady", recorded by Joe Cocker, and organized and performed with Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour in 1970. His "A Song for You", added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018, has been recorded by more than 200 artists, and his "This Masquerade" by more than 75.
His recordings earned six gold records. He received two Grammy awards from seven nominations. In 2011, he was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
- Leon Russell (1970)
- Leon Russell and the Shelter People (1971)
- Carney (1972)
- Looking Back (1973)
- Hank Wilson's Back, Vol. I (1973)
- Stop All That Jazz (1974)
- Will O' the Wisp (1975)
- Americana (1978)
- One for the Road (1979) (with Willie Nelson)
- Life and Love (1979)
- Hank Wilson, Vol. II (1984)
- Solid State (1984)
- Anything Can Happen (1992)
- Blues: The Same Old Song (1995)
- Hymns of Christmas (1995)
- Legend in My Time: Hank Wilson, Vol. III (1998)
- Face in the Crowd (1999)
- Crazy Love (2000)
- Signature Songs (2001)
- Rhythm & Bluegrass: Hank Wilson, Vol. 4 (2001) (with The New Grass Revival)
- Moonlight & Love Songs (2002) (with The Nashville Symphony)
- A Mighty Flood (2006)
- Angel in Disguise (2007)
- In Your Dreams (2008)
- Bad Country (2008)
- Almost Piano (2008)
- The Union (2010) (with Elton John)
- Life Journey (2014)
- On a Distant Shore (2017)
- Leon Live (1973)
- Live in Japan (1975)
- The Live Album (1981) (with The New Grass Revival)
- Live at Gilley's (2000)
- Rock Masters: Mystery Train (Live but Digitally Reworked) (2005)
- The Montreux Session (2013)
- Prince of Peace: Radio Broadcast 1970 (2015)
- Riding the Northeast Trail: The New Jersey Broadcast 1979 (2015) (with Willie Nelson)
- The Homewood Sessions (2016)
- Live and Pickling Fast (2016) (with The New Grass Revival)
- Best of Leon (1976)
- Delta Lady (1991)
- The Collection (1992)
- Gimme Shelter! The Best of Leon Russell (1996)
- Retrospective (1997)
- Best of Leon Russell (2001)
- Best of Hank Wilson (2009)
- The Best of Leon Russell (2011)
- Snapshot (2013)