By Teresa Knox | September 19, 2017

  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 Register detailed submission to Washington was reported in July, outlining the significance of the studio to American music culture. Furthermore, there was overwhelming support by the state officials of Oklahoma and all of the friends and fans of Leon, including the special group, “Leon Lifers.”…

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The Making of Leon Russell Road

By The Church Studio | January 9, 2017

  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. As a musician and fan of the studio, I put my car in park outside of the building and dialed the number on my cell. Ripley answered. I said I was outside and would love to see inside. He said, “I’m here. Come on up.”…

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History of Shelter Records

By The Church Studio | December 30, 2016

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 in the converted church. Leon also purchased adjoining and nearby houses for artists working at the studio, to be used as crash pads between sessions. Leon remained with Shelter until 1976, when he and Cordell decided to part ways. In addition to Russell, the label…

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Remembering Leon Russell

By The Church Studio | November 15, 2016

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 Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years.” All across the world;  friends, family, celebrities and other musicians expressed their condolences.  Below are just a few…   My darling Leon Russell passed away last night.…

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