Leon Russell dominates this issue because we’re celebrating the man’s 70th birthday, in style.
TOGETHER: Scott and Margee Aycock have weathered it all — even Scott’s heart giving out.
SO LONG: Lucas Blakely says goodbye to his “big teddy bear” friend, motorcyclist, and self-taught graphic designer, Joe Merz.
IMAGINARY OKLAHOMA: Mary Jo Bang turns the car around in her story “Ok, Fine.”
THE POSTER BOY OF ROCK: Tamara Logsdon Hawkinson profiles Brian Thompson, the poster artist in the early rock ’n’ roll days of the Cain’s Ballroom.
LEON’S LAIR: Matt O’Meilia remembers the day Leon Russell moved into the Aaronson Mansion in Maple Ridge. He ought to. He threw his morning paper.
LEON RUSSELL ROAD: Lindsey Neal was there when Trenton Avenue at Third Street became, officially, Leon Russell Road.
LONGHAIR MUSIC: Steve Todoroff has been archiving Russell’s career as a studio musician, in photos, session notes, and more.
DONE THAT: Natasha Ball tells a story of the time Kathy Todoroff cooked Leon a large helping of bearded mussels—minus the beards.
POETRY: This issue, we’ve got a special treat—two poems by Tulsa’s legendary painter-poet Joe Brainard.
ORIGINAL OKIE: Jeremy Charles photographs Tulsa musician Paul Benjaman.