Video: Leon Russell comes "Home Sweet Oklahoma" tonight to play Oklahoma State Fair
Singer/songwriter/pianist Leon Russell has “Home Sweet Oklahoma” on his mind and his tour schedule.
But he isn’t headed for Tulsa this time; rather, he is bound for Oklahoma City and the 2011 Oklahoma State Fair.
After spending much of August touring with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Dylan, Russell, 69, is playing what is believed to be the Oklahoma music icon’s first showcase at the state fair, said fair spokesman Scott Munz.
When the Tulsa Sound pioneer plays for free tonight on the Chesapeake Energy Stage, it will mark a rare opportunity for fair-goers. After making a stunning comeback last year with the help of his superstar friend Elton John, Russell is experiencing a level of success and popularity he hasn’t seen since his heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s, when he collaborated with an array of musical icons, from Dylan and Phil Spector to the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones.
While Russell will undoubtedly will be sporting his trademark long hair, prodigious beard and sunglasses, believe it or not, he was not born with that particular look. Check out the above YouTube gem of Russell performing the Chuck Berry hit “Roll Over Beethoven” in 1964 on the ABC TV series “Shindig.” You will do a double take at his short-haired, clean-shaven appearance, but the distinctive nasal twang and fleet-fingered piano prowess is classic Leon Russell.
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