Watch Now: Leon Russell Statue Installed at Church Studio | Entertainment


Jimmie Tramel Tulsa World

The 500-pound bronze statue stands over 7 feet tall from its base to the top of Russell’s trademark top hat.

Leon Russell is once again at the Church Studio.

A 500-pound bronze statue of Tulsa’s Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was set up on Monday on the east side of Church Studio, which served as the home base for Russell and his Shelter Records artists in the 1970s.

“He’s going back to Tulsa once more,” said Teresa Knox, owner of Church Studio, after the statue’s installation is complete.

“I’m Going Back To Tulsa Once Again” was a staple song for Russell in the song “Home Sweet Oklahoma”, a track from the 1971 album “Leon Russell and the Shelter People”.

Russell passed away in 2016, but his legacy will be preserved at Church Studio, which is in the final stages of a Knox-led restoration.

From 1972 to 1976, musical artists from all over the world came to Tulsa to go out and record at the Church Studio. The makeover project will modernize Church Studio for contemporary studio use and for use as a school of audio engineers, but it will also have public benefits.

Artifacts from more than 5,000 items from the Church Studio Archives will be on display and Church Studio will be able to host concerts and programs related to the music industry.

A “soft” opening will take place this week (Bill Champlin, a 28-year-old singer with Chicago, will perform on Thursday), but Knox has indicated that Church Studio is still a construction site. She said everything should be in place by the end of October when Kenny Loggins is due to perform.


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