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The Tulsa Sound’s Eternal Inspiration

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For Tulsa rock ’n’ rollers, the mid-’70s were nothing less than pure gold. Hometown hero Leon Russell was back and firing off projects and ideas and recording sessions from his Church Studio base. The clubs were chock-full of great musicians – some drawn to town by Russell and his entourage, and others who...

Honoring Leon

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Atop hat adorns the wild blond mane of a local rock god, depicted in a hyper-realistic mural on downtown Tulsa’s Grooper Building at Third Street and Frankfort Avenue. It’s as if the young Leon Russell painted there could emerge from a lush otherworld of roses. With a self-described “graffiti/mural” style...

The Tulsa Zeitgeist

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A couple of months ago in this space, I wrote about a then-upcoming event at Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School auditorium, honoring the musical legacy of one of its most famous alumni, Leon Russell. The tribute concert included the dedication of the refurbished Baldwin piano that Russell played in the ’50s for the amusement of his high school peers during their...

Russell’s Legacy Lives On

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If you’re reading this anytime after Feb. 9, then you know – or can easily find out – whether Sir Elton John paid a visit to Will Rogers High School while he was in town for his concert at Tulsa’s BOK Center that same day. Why would a rock music megastar want to take the time to drop by a...