Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Music : Leon Russell

I recently heard something on the radio in the kitchen (Radio Regen-Bogen or SW2), a series of oldies, one or more of which brought Leon Russell to mind. And Steve Miller, or was that the one that brought Leon Russell to mind?

In any case, I went searching the web for a song or two, and news of Leon Russell and Steve Miller, and found some duds, but also learned a bit: I didn't know that Boz Scaggs had played with Miller, for instance. I discovered Russell's cover of "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," perhaps familiar because others (Elvis among them) have also covered it--or did I listen to Danny O'Keefe on --what were the call letters of the C&W radio station in LA?-- but somehow Russell's seems (if the studio brass isn't too over the top) "just right." Curiously, in the

Danny O'Keefe recording on YouTube

it sounds like "you're not a kid at thirty-three" whereas in

the Leon Russell cover from 1984

(when Leon was 42 going on 43?) he seems to sing "you're not a kid at forty-three."

According to Wikipedia, He continues to tour at the age of 66. And why not? According to his official site,
he'll be playing in Las Vegas, NV - Dec. 13th.
There are other videos here and there on the web of recent concerts (including late 2007) which demonstrate that he still can when he wants to; but he seems to be doing more covers, including Rolling Stones songs on which his added value is not obvious. If he played Strasbourg, I'd try to attend, to see for myself, but Vegas is out of my range. The
"Song for You" with Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, though, is a treasure; Ray Charles, we miss you.

But nevermind the itinerary.

I remember watching the following Leon Russell session on KCET with my father, back around the time it was first aired--or maybe the first rerun. We both thought it was a real treat; warning: TV was monaural, and this recording may disappoint, but I like it for sentimental reasons.

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