Leon Russell: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Young Blood” medley

It’s Presidents Day, so let’s have more music. Here’s another great performance from the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh — the first-ever big-name benefit super-concert. For information about the event and its line-up of performers, click here (and feel free to stay and enjoy that music too).

About Leon Russell’s contribution and especially this piece, the “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” & “Young Blood” medley, Wikipedia says:

Leon Russell’s medley of The Rolling Stones‘ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and The Coasters‘ “Young Blood” was another recording from the matinee performance issued on the original releases. With Carl Radle taking over on bass and Don Preston crossing the stage to play lead guitar (now the fourth electric guitarist in the line-up), this medley was a highlight of Russell’s own live shows at the time. Preston, Harrison and Claudia Linnear all supplied supporting vocals behind Russell.

Carl Radle is one of the Dominos from “Derek & the Dominos” of “Layla” fame. The amazing guitar solos are by Don Preston from Leon Russell’s band. You’ll see Harrison and Eric Clapton also on stage with guitars. The solos are Preston’s though, as is some of the singing.

This piece has an interesting structure. The two songs are strung together with a transition story, presumably Russell-written. As you listen, pay attention to that story, and especially the lyrics that say the singer walked out of his house ashamed, not angry. More clichéd writing would have had him angry. A very tender tale with a happy ending.

Also note the amazingly smart transition at the end to … well, if you haven’t heard it, I’ll let you discover it.

So here you go, the fabulous Leon Russell with the full backing of the musicians of the Concert for Bangladesh, in a knockout song and performance of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the Coasters’ “Young Blood”.


Sweet, yes? If you’re not aware of him, Leon Russell is a real find.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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2 Responses to “Leon Russell: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Young Blood” medley”

  1. This has always been the highlight of this show for me – even more so than Dylan. And that Don Preston guitar work, frankly, outshines both Clapton AND Harrison!

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