Like many great R&B vocalists, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass and Jeffery Osborn, Leon started his musical career as a drummer and eventually moved up front as a featured lead singer. After years of honing his craft and performing in local bands where he grew up in Tucson Arizona, Leon moved to Los Angeles California along with band member and friend, now renowned Malaco recording artist Billy Ray Charles. There they formed a group adding bassist Ted Butler and keyboardist Rich Cason called ‘The Bare Facts’ later becoming one of LA’s hottest nightclub attractions Formula IV.
Under the banner Formula IV, the band, with Leon as featured vocalist, received their first professional record contract with Rocky Road records a subsidiary of Clive Davis Arista label. While there, they laid tracks for label mates Al Wilson, The Fifth Dimensions and debuted the album “Come and get yourself some” to critical acclaim.
With the addition of Earl Espy on bass and the soulful Alfreda James, Leon and company changed their name to Formula V and became the house band for one of the most prestigious adult nightclubs in Los Angeles, Freddy Jets Pied Piper.
Artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, Earth Wind & Fire and a celebrity list too numerous to name would jam with this well respected rhythm section. Leon and the band received their second record contract with 20th Century Records the self-titled “Formula V” LP.
When the music industry changed to more dance oriented 12 inch singles, Leon ventured into a solo effort with the club classic “Killer Groove’’ on independent Write On Records creating so many sales on the ‘street level’ that southern soul giant Malaco Records came on board as a major distributor.
Becoming disenchanted with the youth only direction of the music industry, Leon moved back to Tucson Arizona and pursued a degree in education. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a Master of Arts in Educational Counseling, but teaching only didn’t fulfill the music in his soul, so he moonlighted with local blues band “Leon Kittrell and Statesboro “ eventually being inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
Now with only the love of music as an incentive, Leon has released on his own label a musical effort of love and soul songs that embodies everything that is true and real from his musical heart. If your taste in music is romance, soul and a hint of ole’ school nostalgia then this CD “How Low Is Your Down Low” is destined to be your most played.
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