Leavell Rocks Music and the Environment
Because of this documentary, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some world class musicians, including Chuck Leavell, who’s a world class human being as well. Chuck was kind enough to invite me to his Georgia tree farm a couple of years ago to do a fantastic interview about Johnnie.
We reunited earlier this week when he came to St. Louis to receive an award for his environmental advocacy. I don’t think Chuck’s ever met a stranger. He makes you feel like you’ve known him all his life and it was a pleasure catching up with him for a few minutes Monday. When Leavell isn’t touring with The Rolling Stones, he is a tree farmer on his two-thousand acre pine tree plantation, and writes books about trees and environmentalism for adults and children.Sunday, Leavell was recognized by the International Society of Arborculture (ISA) with an Honorary Membership. While in town, Leavell appeared on Today In St. Louis to perform and talk about his impressive career. Click on this link to see his interivew and performances. http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=150861If it seems like Leavell has been at the epicenter of rock and roll for a long time, it’s because he’s had a long and amazing career. It began to take off when he joined the Allman Brothers Band at the age of 20 in the late 1970’s. In 1982, he began his long association with The Rolling Stones. He has also performed with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Black Crowes, as well as recording his own solo projects. His new cd is “Live in Germany” which came out earlier this year.Leavell’s St. Louis connection includes his participation in the concert movie “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll” which was filmed in and around St. Louis in the mid-1980’s. Leavell was part of the all-star band organized by film director Taylor Hackford and musical director Keith Richards. That band included Leavell, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Johnnie Johnson, Linda Ronstadt, and Etta James. Leavell and the Stones included St. Louis on their Bigger Bang World Tour in 2006 and 2007.
In “Johnnie Be Good” you’ll hear Leavell talk about requesting that his organ be placed next to Johnnie’s piano during the “Hail! Hail!” rehearsals so he could watch Johnnie’s hands. The photo below is from 2003 in Houston when Johnnie sat in with the Stones and Keith Richards and Chuck Leavell talked music before the concert. Chuck’s website is http://www.ChuckLeavell.comGreat to see you again, Chuck. Rock on!Art HollidayDirector”Johnnie Be Good”