Leon Russell

Leon Russell performing

Claude Russell Bridges, also more famously and professionally known as Leon Russell, is an American singer, songwriter, and session musician who has mainly maintained onto a solo career. He has also played with other acts like Bob Dylan and George Harrison. Russell was born on April 2, 1942 in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Russell is politically inactive. In his own words: "I'm not an ecology freak... nor Women's Liberation. I'm almost totally politically inactive. I don't play benefits or any kind of fund-raisers. I prefer to play at hospitals, for people who otherwise can't see us. But I can't see playing for causes, unless it's specifically -- for instance, if it's my cause or some poor people's, I'll try to help. But you won't find me playing for any peace candidates -- or any candidates. Both economics and politics are false sciences. They're based on poor communication. In other words, the reason people don't like to trade -- the reason they prefer to have money is because they don't trust their own judgement of what something's worth. If they have an outside arbitor, who fixes the value for the time certificates -- which is what the dollars actually are -- money just buys time -- it's the same thing with politics, it's based on poor communications. Capitalism itself in itself is a bit of a rip-off, as far as I'm concerned, but what are you going to do? I'm certainly not going to be a politician and change it, in or out of the system. I'm just going to sing my songs, because that's what I do. Some Oriental philosopher -- Tao -- once said that people that want to be political leaders are the least qualified to do it, and that's true. The people who really are qualified won't mess with it. So we always get the second best."

He has done two duet albums. One with Willie Nelson called "One for the Road" in 1978 and "The Union" with Elton John in 2010. Of course, John wanted him to be in the spotlight as he talked about crying while listening to Russell's music and says he is angry that people having forgotten about Russell. In 2011 he was inducted into the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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