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Carl Radle, Leon Russell To Be Inducted Into The Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame

Published // 19.Sep.06

Carl Radle, who played bass with Eric Clapton throughout the seventies, is to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on 12 October 2006 along with fellow Okie, Leon Russell. They were but two of a rich crop of Tulsa based musicians to emerge during the sixties. Amongst the others were drummer Jamie Oldaker and keyboard player Dick Simms, both of whom served with Carl in EC's band, and JJ Cale, who wrote Eric's hits "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" and whose musical path has passed once again alongside Clapton's in the last few years.

Carl and Leon played together with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during Eric Clapton's tenure as supporting guitarist around the turn of the sixties; on Eric's first solo album; as part of Joe Cocker's memorable Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour of the States in 1970; as part of the cast for George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh; and on numerous sessions for Freddie King and others on Leon's Shelter label in the early seventies. Carl also played on George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" triple album, before helping Eric form Derek & The Dominos and deliver "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs" - for some the best studio album ever recorded.

Leon Russell's solo career continues to this day and he will appear with his full band at October's celebration. Perhaps best known for his distinctive, gospel influenced, rhythmic keyboard skills and his distinctive singing voice and appearance, Leon has become considerably more sedate over the years. He also succeeds with ballads and with "real" country music. It would be a treat to hear him sing Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee", in that same town where the induction takes place.

Carl Radle died in 1980, aged 37, from the effects of alcohol and narcotics. He is affectionately remembered for his own unassuming personality, which was reflected in his undemonstrative but most effective playing style. As Jim Downing observed, Carl "...knew that the most compelling bass lines are understated. Once in a while though, he would throw in an amazing lick just to remind you that he was indeed a monster."

Sure to push the imagination into overdrive is the prospect of most of Eric's surviving '70's band members reassembling to play their tribute. Performers on the day will include Jamie Oldaker and Dick Simms, guitarist George Terry and vocalists Marcy Levy and Bonnie Bramlett.