Panel Summons Leon Russell
BY John Storms
Dec 8, 1972
1/16/13 at 2:26 AM
Internationally known hard rock recording star Leon Russell of Tulsa is among 62 persons named in subpoenas issued here as the Tulsa County Grand Jury launched a probe into the Tulsa drug scene.
Russell, who is out of state on a tour, has not been served with a subpoena but sheriff’s deputies said today one of Russell’s business representatives was notified and that he would relay the information to Russell. It is not known if Russell will return to Tulsa before next week.
Russell, whose real name is Russell Bridges, is a graduate of Will Rogers High School in Tulsa and presently maintains a home in Tulsa in the 1100 block of E. 24th Place and on Grand Lake. He is also building a major recording studio near the downtown Tulsa area for his Shelter recording company.
When in Tulsa, Russell has been known to frequent the Brookside area along South Peoria Avenue where some local teen-agers often congregate and where some drug activity has been the target of arrests in the past.
There is also speculation the grand jury is interested in what Russell might know about drug abuse among various musicians of his acquaintance.
A number of musicians have at times visited Russell here and at his 3,500 square-foot, two-story home on a 7 ½-acre point of land at Grand Lake, which has recording facilities in the basement.
Russell’s top selling current albums on his Shelter label are “Carney,” “Asylum Choir,” “The Shelter People,” and “The Leon Russell.”
A total of 32 persons of the 62 named on subpoenas were served Wednesday night and 24 appeared Thursday afternoon. Of those, 18 were called before the grand jury and the others were ordered to report today. Others named were to appear today and Monday.
The jury had originally been called to investigate allegedly obscene books in the Tulsa Public School System.
Tulsa County Clerk Clyde Winterringer, at own request, went before the panel Thursday for about 20 minutes.
Winterringer said his testimony concerned “county business.”
About three weeks ago, during a County Commission meeting, Winterringer disputed the commission’s handling of a public sale of surplus equipment and indicated “this type of thing” was the subject matter of his testimony before the grand jury.