Leon and Leonard RIP
Two giants of popular music have died over the last week or so - Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen. Both of them had a major impact over several decades, but while Leonard's death has been marked with widespread media coverage, the death of Leon Russell has been little reported by comparison.
He formed a studio group The Asylum Choir and found a new image, with long hair and beard and typically wearing a top hat, when he wrote Delta Lady for Joe Cocker and put together his Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. He played with Delanie and Bonnie and took part in George Harrison's Concert for Bangla Desh whilst also playing with a wide variety of artists, including The Band, Flying Burrito Brothers, Dave Mason, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. He
set up the Shelter label with Denny Cordell and achieved his greatest success as a solo rock artist in the early seventies with albums such as the three LP Leon Live, Carney, which included the hit single Tight Rope, and Leon Russell and the Shelter People. Afterwards he recorded country music under the name of Hank Wilson and in 1979 had a country music number one hit with Willie Nelson on Heartbreak Hotel. He formed his Paradise record label in 1976 and continued to record intermittently through to 2010 when he worked with Elton John on The Union, which regenerated his career. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/13/leon-russell-dies-pianist-a-song-for-you
Much has been written about Canadian singer songwriter Leonard Cohen, who has died aged 82. In the late sixties, when he decided to put his poems to music, people seemed to be divided into those who loved his gloomy depressing records and those who found them just dull. I was in the latter camp, yet I have to admit that listening to tracks like Suzanne and Bird On The Wire today I find them strangely moving. His later song Hallelujah became one of the most recorded songs of all time. Here's his obituary in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/11/leonard-cohen-obituary
The Vinyl Word says a fond farewell also to actor Robert Vaughn, who has died aged 82. Notable films included The Magnificent