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Alterkaker Hot 3

Leon Russell: Master Of Space & Time

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time

I love you for my life you are a friend of mine

And when my life is over

Remember when we were together

We were alone and I was singing this song for you

What a 60-year career this guy had. The Oklahoma native’s repertoire included pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel and surf records. He recorded 33 albums and some 400 songs and nabbed 6 gold records while finding the time to play guitar, bass, and piano in recording sessions for a slew of artists. Like: Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Barbara Streisand, Willie Nelson, the Beach Boys, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Rolling Stones. Russell was the organizer and driving force of Joe Cocker’s infamous Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, performed with over 100 artists, and wrote lots of hits for others too, such as “Delta Lady” for Cocker, "This Masquerade” for George Benson, and "A Song For You," which has been recorded by over 100 singers. Leon Russell was named the number one concert attraction in 1973, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (though, puzzlingly, the performer he played backup to, Joe Cocker, is not in the Hall).

The three songs and video song selected come from Russell’s peak years, which covered his first four LPs. She Smiles Like A River is from album number two, Leon Russell and The Shelter People (1971). Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms is on his country album Hank Wilson’s Back! (1972), which doesn’t feature Russell’s name anywhere on the album. Tight Rope is the opening track on Carney (1973), Russell’s biggest selling effort.

In the video, Leon Russell performs A Song For You, which was on his eponymous debut album.

A Song For You, by Leon Russell