b. Otha Leon Haywood, 11th February 1942, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 5th April 2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Leon Haywood is, probably, best remembered for his 1975 hit single ‘I Want To Do Something Freaky to You’.
Born in Houston, Leon learned to play the piano as a child, later supporting the Blues musician, Guitar Slim.
He relocated to Los Angeles, and began collaborating with the saxophonist Big Jay McNeely.
Leon went on to work in Sam Cooke’s group, later signing to the Fantasy Records imprint.
In 1967, he released the single ‘It's Got to Be Mellow’, which charted at number 21 (R&B).
soul cargo - 1966 / it's got to be mellow - 1967 / back to stay - 1973 / keep it in the family - 1974
He later performed with Dyke & the Blazers, recording solo sides for the Columbia Records and MCA Records labels.
Leon began recording disco sides in the Seventies, which led to the releases of ‘I Want To Do Something Freaky to You’ (in 1975), ‘Strokin' (Pt. II)’ (in 1976) and ‘Party’ (in 1978).
come and get yourself some - 1975 / intimate - 1976 / double my pleasure - 1978 / energy - 1979
In 1980, he released the single ‘Don't Push It Don't Force It’, which reached number 12 in the U.K.
Leon is credited with writing the Carl Carlton hit ‘She's a Bad Mama Jama’.
naturally - 1980 / it's me again - 1983
His final R&B chart record was ‘Tenderoni’ in 1984.
By the end of the decade he had moved into a production role with the Los Angeles imprint Edge Records.
He produced albums for the likes of Jimmy McCracklin, Clay Hammond, Ronnie Lovejoy and Buddy Ace for his Evejim Records imprint.
During his career he recorded for several labels including, the Imperial, Decca, 20th Century, Columbia, MCA, Casablanca, Modern, Edge and Evejim imprints.
Leon, sadly, passed away in April 2016 from natural causes.
Soul Cargo (Vocalion Records 1966)
The Mellow Mellow Leon Haywood (Galaxy Records 1967)
It's Got To Be Mellow (MCA Records 1967)
Back To Stay (Pye Records 1973)
Keep It In The Family (20th Century Records 1974)
Come And Get Yourself Some (20th Century Records 1975)
Intimate (MCA Records 1976)
Double My Pleasure (MCA Records 1978)
Energy (MCA Records 1980)
Naturally (20th Century Records 1980)
It's Me Again (20th Century Records 1983)