The colossal, almost tribal sound they made was just what a freewheeling song like "Dixie Lullaby" needed. When Joe Cocker included his take of "Delta Lady" on a album, Russell was still finding his way outside of the largely unseen world of sidemen.
On the surface, this is another in the long list of songs that earned Southern rock glory for Russell. Dig deeper, however, and you hear one of his earliest piano influences in Little Richard. Russell takes that basic inspiration and finds a new gear for it on the perfectly salacious "Roller Derby.
Russell was eventually given the nickname "master of space and time," and this spacious song — recorded with the Stax rhythm section of Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and Al Jackson — shows why. Part of his languid genius is purely physical. As a boy, Russell suffered a bout of spastic paralysis. Sometimes, it led Russell to sound classically inspired. Other times, he simply let silence speak for itself — giving his right hand, and our hearts, an extra beat to catch up.
Also memorably covered by B. King , "Hummingbird" begins as a delicately wrought showcase for Russell's idiosyncratic vocal instrument, before taking a striking turn from bluesy love song toward a rousing gospel number. Throughout, though, you're struck by his unguarded approach at the mic — as Russell bares everything in the most unconscious of ways.
That raw honesty helped garner Russell countless fans, despite his rough voice and offbeat mannerisms. Born of desperation, the buoyant, ragtime-inspired "Tight Rope" couldn't sound any different. The Carpenters later made a huge hit out of this, something that isn't as odd as it sounds.
But Russell's deeply moving interpretation of a track, about longing for the love of one person amid a sea of adulation from strangers, serves to add new shades of meaning as it belies the gruff, Southern-rocking persona he'd already established. Instead, everything about this song — home to the unforgettable line, " Listen to the melody 'cause my love is in there hiding " — is reserved, pitch perfect and simply gorgeous.
Trending: R. Its fast paced rhythm belies its tender sentiments, but the catchy melody provides an instant attraction. There may be no better example of Russell in full flight, given its gospel-like chorus and unbridled exhortation. A classic love song and sentimental standard, it stands among the best offerings of all time.
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"A Song for You" is a song written and originally recorded by rock singer and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album Leon Russell, which was released in . A Song for You Lyrics: I've been so many places in my life and time / I've sung a lot of songs / I've made some bad rhymes / I've acted out my life on stages / With.