Various Artists - Leon Gardner's Igloo Records (LP) (Athens Of The North)

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Various Artists - Leon Gardner's Igloo Records (LP) (Athens Of The North)
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A long time in the making collection of gems from the mysterious & reclusive Gardner, dug up and presented with love by Athens Of The North.
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Dancer and B3 Hammond player Leon Gardner moved from his Texas to Los Angeles sometime in the mid '60s. Soon after arriving he set up his own Igloo records.

While in LA, Gardner befriended arranger and pianist Arthur Monday, Monday had settled in LA with his friend and co-musician Gabe Fleming, and they shared arranging credits for a few of the igloo releases. Fleming was credited for 'Farm Song' while Monday was credited for 'Honest Song' on the flip. 'Igloo Records' ie Leon Gardner was credited as producer. In reality, it's likely that the three of them worked together on both sides of the record and others on the label. Leon also arranged and produced other bands on the label such as the deep soul classic by the Jhamels 'I've Cried' and Wallace Petty Combo's Petty Cash but never reached the success he had hoped for.

A Decade later and Gardner became frustrated by his lack of recognition, and became increasingly more reclusive, which in turn led to a rift between him and his family. Drummer Edward 'Apple' Nelson (see Tracks 2 and 12), remembers his first impressions of Leon, "I met Leon a few times here and there as him and Monday were real tight. I didn't get to know him that well or nothing as he could came across as very much into his own thing". Leon's son Darrell recalls his father's music, saying "I always knew his music was special even back then and am truly surprised that he never really got any recognition for it until now". Looking back, LA bandleader Charles Wright concurs, "We didn't think of him as being very significant but I guess he was. He did come out with some good lyrics".

As well as his other 45s released on Igloo, there were other recordings made for several other independent labels between 1965 and 1974, after which Gardner seemed to disappear under the radar.. The general consensus is that he is currently was no fixed address and living somewhere in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, yet all attempts to contact at this point were unsuccessful.

This Leon Gardner / Igloo records LP was originally a project Gerald Short of Jazzman Records. Gerald worked on this over 10 years ago and spoke to many involved with the label who are no longer with us. He finally managed to track Leon down to a care home in LA but unfortunately, Leon passed away soon after Gerald reached out to him. Gerald decided not to continue with the LP out of respect, the information and text here is kindly supplied by Gerald so thanks to him for that.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Artist Various Artists
Label Athens Of The North
Music Format General Vinyl
Music Format Specific Album
Genre Soul
Release Date 26 Mar 2021
Track 1 Position 1
Track 1 Title Leon Gardner - Farm Song
Track 1 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/01+Farm+Song+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 2 Position 2
Track 2 Title Leon Gardner - Be There (Full Version)
Track 2 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/02+Be+There+(Full+Version)+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 3 Position 3
Track 3 Title Leon Gardner - My Love Is Growing
Track 3 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/03+My+Love+Is+Growing+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 4 Position 4
Track 4 Title Essie Lewis - You're My Love
Track 4 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/04+Youre+My+Love+-+Essie+Lewis.mp3
Track 5 Position 5
Track 5 Title Leon Gardner - Who Are You
Track 5 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/05+Who+Are+You+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 6 Position 6
Track 6 Title Leon Gardner - Beef Jerky
Track 6 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/06+Beef+Jerky+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 7 Position 7
Track 7 Title The Jhamels - I've Cried
Track 7 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/07+Ive+Cried+-+The+Jhamels.mp3
Track 8 Position 8
Track 8 Title Leon Gardner - Tough Lover
Track 8 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/08+Tough+Lover+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 9 Position 9
Track 9 Title Leon Gardener - Wonderful World of Children
Track 9 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/09+Wonderful+World+of+Children+-+Leon+Gardener.mp3
Track 10 Position 10
Track 10 Title Leon Gardner - You Don't Care
Track 10 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/10+You+Dont+Care+-+Leon+Gardner.mp3
Track 11 Position 11
Track 11 Title Wallace Petty - Ropeokra
Track 11 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/11+Ropeokra+-+Wallace+Petty.mp3
Track 12 Position 12
Track12 Title Wallace Petty Combo - Petty Cash
Track 12 Preview URL https://usolnaudiopreviews.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/AOTNLP043/12+Petty+Cash+-+Wallace+Petty+Combo.mp3
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