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New Biography Documents Life Of ‘Master Of Space And Time’ Leon Russell

The new volume has the support of Russell’s estate and tells the story of a musician whose work across six decades impacted a swathe of rock history.

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Leon Russell - Photo: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns
Leon Russell - Photo: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

Hachette Books has announced the March 14 publication of Leon Russell: The Master Of Space And Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History. The comprehensive new biography of the hugely influential and revered artist, writer, frontman, collaborator, producer, and arranger is by the acclaimed author and founding member of Buffalo Tom, Bill Janovitz.

The new volume has the support of Russell’s estate and tells the story of a sometimes underappreciated musician, whose work across six decades impacted a swathe of rock history and earned him induction in 2011 into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His classic, endlessly-covered “A Song For You” entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018, two years after his death at the age of 74.

The vast list of collaborators and beneficiaries of Russell’s work includes Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge, Dave Mason, Freddie King, JJ Cale, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bonnie Raitt, and many more.

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Janowitz wrote 2005’s The Rolling Stones Exile On Main St. and 2014’s Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell The Story Of The Rolling Stones. His most recent work has appeared in the Cambridge Companion series, Cambridge University Press, The Observer, Esquire.com, Rock and Roll Globe, and Post Road.

Among plaudits for the new biography, film director and author Cameron Crowe says: “Get ready to truly meet Leon Russell – one of music’s most unforgettable, colorful, and supremely gifted characters. Thanks to Bill Janovitz’s thoroughly captivating storytelling, here’s the definitive portrait as lively and essential as Russell himself.”

Elliot Easton of the Cars adds: “Bill Janovitz has drawn back the curtain on this seminal yet incredibly complex and mysterious figure in American Music. After reading the book, I feel as though I’ve met the man, and certainly understand so much more about this singular musical genius. A detailed, absorbing read.”

Mike Scott of the Waterboys reflects: “Leon’s journey in music was vast and deep. It takes a researcher and author of great insight and clarity to make sense of it and provide a map for the rest of us. Here’s Bill doing exactly that.”

Pre-order Leon Russell: The Master Of Space And Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History, which is published on March 14.

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