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Monday, November 14, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/14 - Unique

RIP Leon Russell, 74, the second unique musical artist to pass away within a week, Leonard Cohen the other. His  looks were striking, his talent large. He wrote Joe Cocker’s Delta Lady and put together Cocker’s 1969 Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, which spawned a documentary and hit double album. Primarily a pianist, he played on The Beach Boys’ California Girls and Jan and Dean’s Surf City. He produced and played on recording sessions for Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike and Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and many others. He recorded hits himself, namely Tight Rope and Lady Blue. John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison played on his first album. His concerts often ended with a rousing version of Jumpin’ Jack Flash. In 1973 Billboard Magazine listed Russell as the top concert attraction in the world. In 2011 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He also was honored with an Award for Music Excellence from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He began as a nightclub piano player in Oklahoma at the age of 14, and also backed touring artists who visited town. Jerry Lee Lewis was so impressed that he hired Russell and his band for two years of tours. In the early 2000's Russell began his own record label, Leon Russell Records. Well done, sir. Here's a video of my favorite Russell song:

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer, a finalist for the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year award, has a unique off-season occupation - plumbing. He is in backyards in the Oklahoma City area digging ditches and changing sewer lines, replacing old Orangeburg pipes with new PVC pipes. He can also be found in basements exchanging water heaters, in kitchens replacing sinks and faucets, in bathrooms fixing leaky toilets. He says: “it’s fun.” I want this guy on my team. He was 11-7, 3.06 ERA. In 159 innings he allowed only 136 hits and had 132 K's.

For the second straight session the floating book shop had only one customer. My thanks to the 76-year-old goombah who bought pictorials on old Hollywood, Harley Davidsons, and epic events as shot by photographers of Life magazine.
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1 comment:

  1. Two musicians from my youth - my generation. Great vibes, man. As we used to say.