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John Lamb, Published April 08 2012

The other piano man: Leon Russell brings 50-plus years of music to Fargo

You may recognize Leon Russell, with his long, snow-white beard and matching long white hair flowing out from under his cowboy hat.

The striking musician looks like either the oldest member of ZZ Top or the hairiest of the Winter brothers.

Even though he’s a musician idolized by musicians and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, Russell may be more identified with his looks than his 50-year body of work that produced hit songs for several stars.

Russell brings that repertoire to the Fargo Theatre stage for a concert Wednesday night.

Though he was not available for an interview with The Forum, Russell has said, “I like all kinds of music, and I hate to do the same thing all the time.”

His legacy proves the point.

Russell played piano in the house band for “Shindig!” ABC’s weekly rock ’n’ roll show, and “The T.A.M.I. Show” alongside guitarist Glen Campbell.

North Dakotans should note Peggy Lee recorded Russell’s “A Song for You” and “Superstar” on her 1972 record, “Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533