Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom) has us obsessed with Leon Russell

Leon Russell may be an enigmatic and underappreciated figure in the music world, but author and musician Bill Janovitz is determined to shed light on his life and legacy in a new biography that music lovers are excited about.

Leon Russell, an icon in the world of music, remains an enigmatic and underappreciated figure. His life and work are worth examining, as he is a musician who not only represents an era in music history, but has profoundly influenced many musicians who followed him.

From his teenage beginnings touring with Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1950s, to playing piano on records by Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Phil Spector, Leon’s career is a road map of music greats, often he crossed paths with rock royalty like Bob Dylan, the Stones, and the Beatles.

Leon was more than just a gifted musician, he was also a trailblazer who dared to challenge social and musical barriers.

He founded Shelter Records in 1969 with producer Denny Cordell, a label that would discover and release debut albums by Tom Petty, The Gap Band, Phoebe Snow, and JJ Cale.

Leon also organized and performed in Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour and George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh. He unabashedly brought together widely diverse bands and acts, creating free and creative atmospheres for musicians to live and work together.

Leon also gets credit for altering Willie Nelson’s career, giving us the long-haired, pot-friendly Willie we all know and love today.

However, Leon’s life was not without its struggles. He battled substance abuse, severe depression, and crippling stage fright that plagued him throughout his career.

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memoirs of leon russell

Despite these challenges, Leon managed to sell out arenas on solo tours and was recognized by Elton John, who inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

Musicians and author Bill Janovitz spotlighted this important 20th century music maker with a definitive biography of the legendary musician, songwriter and performer who had a profound influence on countless artists including George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John , Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and the world of music in general. Check it here.

So thank you, Bill, for spotlighting one of the most important music creators of the 20th century.

Listen to ‘A Song For You’ and ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ below:

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