LATEST BLOG POSTS

OKIES ON RECORD #1

By Steve Todoroff We are starting a new monthly series here on the Church Studio Blog, where we will cover some of the early releases from the past where Oklahoma musicians appeared together in the studio, more often than not on other artist’s records. Starting us off is a popular rockabilly artist and songwriter from…

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THE BILL DAVIS INTERVIEW

By Steve Todoroff It’s a late September night at the Sunset Grill, a combination cafe/night club in Tulsa where eager fans begin to cram themselves around tables near the vicinity of the dance floor. As they mingle about, a party-like atmosphere maintains them until that moment the band squeezes onto the tiny stage and starts…

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A CHURCH, A CHAIR, A BOY AND A PRAYER

There comes a time in life when one is moved to reflect upon major events in his or her life as old friends, relatives, family members “cash in their chips” and depart the game of life. As the days, months and years come and go, the hectic responsibilities of life take the greater majority of…

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Leon, J.J., and the Super Dupers

Having grown tired of the fourteen-hour days in the recording studio playing on other people’s records, Leon Russell decided in 1965 to work for legendary producer Snuff Garrett, who was starting his own independent production company and record label, Viva Records. Snuff hustled the business and Russell handled the production chores, which included arranging, producing…

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6 Things You Might Not Know About Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”

Leon Russell’s 1970 instant classic “A Song For You,” a mainstay on all reality singing competition shows, and a song that has been recorded by scores of prominent recording artists (and hundreds of not-so-prominent), was recently voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Russell originally released the song on his 1970 debut solo album on…

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THE CHURCH STUDIO NAMED TO NATIONAL REGISTER

  Less than a year after the devastating passing of Leon Russell, The Church Studio has earned a respected, unique and highly desired designation to the National Register of Historic Places. The designation became effective Sept. 8, 2017 as reported by the National Park Service. Although it wasn’t certain, It was expected after its National…

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The Making of Leon Russell Road

  I drove by The Church Studio on Third Street one morning in 2006 and found that its then-owner, musician Steve Ripley, had a hand-made “For Sale” sign stuck in the yard of the legendary recording studio he had owned for the last 20+ years. He had written his cell phone number on the sign.…

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History of Shelter Records

Shelter Records was started by Leon Russell and Denny Cordell.  The label operated from 1969 to 1981. The company established offices in Los Angeles and in 1972; set up in Tulsa, Oklahoma at The Church Studio.  In Tulsa, the label’s mission was to foster an environment described as a “workshop atmosphere” with a recording studio…

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Remembering Leon Russell

Leon Russell was born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942 in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Leon passed away on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74.  His wife said that he passed away in his sleep.  Russell’s website wrote. “The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from…

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