Cain’s Ballroom to Host Leon Russell Tribute Concert

Leaving behind a successful music career and a proud home state of Oklahoma, world renowned Okie musician, Leon Russell died in his Nashville home on November 13, 2016 at the age of 74. Coming home to Tulsa one final time friends, family, and fans gathered to remember his life and his legacy at a public funeral on November 20, 2016.

December 15, 2016 will be, as Russell would have said, a day of musical healing as the Cain’s Ballroom in Downtown Tulsa will host “Tribute to Leon,” starting at 7:30pm. This event is being organized by Larry Shaeffer and Jimmie “Junior” Markham, who both played with Russell during his early years in Tulsa. The tribute will be free to attend and standing room only. Shaeffer and Markham are also trying to round up as many musicians from the 1950s and 1960s as are available to join the tribute as these musicians were instrumental in developing a unique blend of rock, blues, country, and roots. Musicians you can expect at the tribute include: Tommy Cook, Chuck Blackwell, Don White, Paul Benjaman, Wink Burcham, along with many others who are coming together to remember the musical legend that was, Leon Russell.

Russell was originally from Lawton, Oklahoma and fell in love with music at a young age. He began playing Tulsa nightclubs on a regular basis at the age of 14. When Russell graduated from Will Rogers High School at the age of 17 he immediately hit the road with his band, The Starlighters, and for two months of his tour, The Starlighters were a supporting act for Jerry Lee Lewis. Once in Los Angeles, Russell found success working as a session musician for live shows and studio recordings.  Russell has written songs for The Carpenters, Joe Cocker, and George Benson among others and had a thriving solo career. In 2011 Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.