15 February 2008

Leon Russell From His Session Musician Days: "Roll Over Beethoven"

Years before he took America by storm as band leader for Joe Cocker on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, years before he blew me out of my theater seat with his Jumpin' Jack Flash / Youngblood medley in the Concert for Bangladesh, years before his flowing white beard and hair, his raspy voice, and his piano skills made him an American rock n' roll icon -- "The Master of Time and Space" -- in the early '70's, Leon Russell was an accomplished session musician working with, among others, Phil Spector on his unparalleled "wall of sound" recordings.

I didn't know until last week, however, that he was performing the same musical magic in solo performances in the mid-sixties. Whiteray, the man behind the great Echoes in the Wind blog, found this jumpin' Leon Russell clip from a 1964 esipode of Shindig, a well-groomed-and-dressed Leon covering Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven:

As with his Stones covers, including the somewhat obscure cover of Wild Horses, found on Russell's Gimme Shelter!: The Best of Leon Russell, he always seems to add a little something extra to the great original versions.


owen said...

hey whats up man..

My pc got sick and I had to strip it and I lost all my stuff.. woops

Too Cool leon

LadyMadeleine said...

Great video, Paco! I love the intro and the fact that he's wearing tails while rockin' out...

Nice work, blogmaster!


Paco Malo said...

Owen: check my note sent under separate cover.

Lady M: Tres Bon!

Thanks to you both for your comments.