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Home Blogs The Arts Leon Russell, Elton John and me: The good news continues

Leon Russell, Elton John and me: The good news continues

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It's time to buy a lottery ticket. I'm on a roll.

First, there was the interview with Willis Alan Ramsey. I've been waiting for about 37 years for that one. Google him. He just doesn't talk to the press much.

Then, yesterday, after a year of asking, Lyle Lovett's people said they thought this would be a perfect time for me to talk to him for my series about songwriters.

Now, tonight, when I checked my e-mail from home, there's a press release from Leon Russell's people.

He's set to release a duet with Elton John on "The Union," which is due out in October.

They asked if I'd like to review the CD ... and oh, by the way, "We will also be setting-up a limited amount of interviews with Elton and Leon .... Please let me know if you have any requests or need any additional assets."

Are you kidding me?

I discovered Leon Russell's music when I was a sophomore in high school. I think I still have the piano sheet music to "A Song for You." The song has been covered by everyone from The Carpenters to Christina Aguilar.

Other hits include "Tight Wire," "Lady Blue," "This Masquerade" (also recorded by The Carpenters), "Delta Lady" and "Back to the Island."

Recording sessions at his Tulsa studio are lengendary.

I drove all over Texas and half of Georgia to see him live when I was in college. I've seen him recently in Waco and Bryan. He moves a little slower, but once he sits down at the keyboard, the years dissolve and the magic begins.

When I began covering the arts years ago, I tried to get an interview with Russell. His people were polite, but always said, "Mr. Russell doesn't speak to the press."

I guess things change when you're set to release a CD with Elton John.

If my good luck holds out and Russell's people save a slot for me, you'll see a review of "The Union" AND an interview with the man himself in an upcoming edition of your News-Telegram.

Russell's appearing at the Granada in Dallas next week. Maybe it'll work out for me to be there. The Granada is just around the corner from where my grandparents lived and I went to the movies there on Saturday mornings. They've saved it from the wrecking ball and it's a great venue for live music.

Be still, my 16-year-old heart.

Here's a clip of Ray Charles, Willie Nelson and Leon doing "A Song For You." It really doesn't get much better than this.



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