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leon russell :: Blog

Elton John: From the Classics to the Contemporary

Tuesday, March 25: 4:25 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Released in 1970, Elton John's second album contained one of his biggest hits, "Your Song."

Born Reginald Dwight in Middlesex, England, the future Elton John discovered his destiny early, tinkering with the piano as a tot of three. Teenager Reg won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and studied there five years before signing on with Long John Baldry's band Bluesology in the mid 60s. Taking his name from Baldry and bandmate Elton Dean, Elton John left Baldry and teamed up with the man who would become his longtime writing partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin.

The sweetly sentimental "Your Song," John's 1970 breakthrough hit, was far from his first single. The 1968 dud "I've Been Loving You" was an ill-conceived attempt to capitalize on the popularity of big ballad singers like Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones; 1969's "Lady Samantha" didn't score either, but found John on the verge of discovering his artistic voice, and was covered by Three Dog Night. Since "Your Song," it's been full speed ahead, of course.

During a career spanning five decades, the Rocket Man has released more than 30 albums, and is one of the top-selling artists of all time, with more than 300 million records sold worldwide.

Sir Elton continues to influence ...


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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces its 2011 Inductees

Wednesday, December 15: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced the Alice Cooper Band, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love and Tom Waits as its 2011 performer inductees. Also being inducted this year as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award are Jac Holzman and Art Rupe.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Recording Excellence (previously the Sidemen category) will be presented to Leon Russell. The 26th annual ceremony will take place on Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and be broadcast on Fuse, Madison Square Garden’s national music television network.

“We are pleased to welcome these artists and executives into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman. “They truly represent the variety of people that have defined and continue to influence music and the business of Rock and Roll.”

The performer Inductees are:  

·    Alice Cooper Band
·    Neil Diamond
·    Dr. John
·    Darlene Love
·    Tom Waits

Ahmet Ertegun Award recipients (nonperformers):

·    Jac Holzman
·    Art Rupe

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Recording Excellence
(previously the Sidemen category):
·    Leon Russell

The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall ...


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Hanson Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Wednesday, October 7: 4:25 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Hanson visit the Rock Hall.

Rock Hall President and CEO Terry Stewart talks with Hanson about Chuck Berry, Leon Russell and more.

Had a great visit with some old (relatively speaking) friends of the Museum, Hanson.  These guys are incredible music lovers and self-described music geeks.  They first toured the museum almost 10 years ago when they had their break-out record.  Since then they’ve been back several times.  Yesterday they were doing a short performance and signing of their new book. Then they came down to our offices and we had a conversation about how much they love classic rock and the artists from the 50s like Chuck Berry.  In turn, it led to an interesting discussion about an artist who has a lot of influence on them, Leon Russell.  They wanted to know about the nominating process because they know I’m on the committee. I explained to them that Leon is an tremendously gifted musician, singer, producer, etc.  and really qualifies in two categories – Performer and Sidemen.  In fact, during the past year, we received numerous communications from fans and inductees and others lobbying for his induction in either of these categories. We spent some time talking about his varied and long ...


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