Tag Archives: Jennifer Warnes

Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes “Silent Night” Video Opens Christmas Season

Merry Christmas, Marianne

As ongoing readers may know, a Leonard Cohen Christmas album has yet to enter that notably diverse pantheon of holiday CDs that includes such specimens as Twisted Sister’s “Twisted Christmas,” Jethro Tull’s “The Jethro Tull Christmas Album,” “A John Waters Christmas” by various artists, Afroman’s “A Colt 45 Christmas,” and William Hung’s “Hung For The Holidays.”1

Leonard Cohen’s songs and albums are often the result of long gestations. “I’m Your Man” was an album three years in the making.2 “In My Secret Life” required 13 years to progress from conception to release – even with Sharon Robinson helping.3 Nonetheless, even Cohen’s most ardent fans can be forgiven if they despair over his Christmas compilation, which is now in its 33rd year of preparation with only one song to show for the effort.4

Well, at least that one song is a pretty good one.

Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes – Silent Night

This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert.5

The Leonard Cohen Silent Night Video – A Tradition Since 2011

There is no film of the performance itself; consequently, I constructed a video montage of photos of Cohen and Warnes, drawings by Leonard Cohen, and a clip of a very young Leonard and his sister Esther skating to complement the music last year to accompany the music.  As of today, it has been viewed 47,932 times.

Download Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes

The audio recording of Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes used in the video is the same MP3 available as a track on the Another Other Leonard Cohen Album. Information about those songs and download instructions are available at the link.

Credit Due Department: The photo of Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes is by Claude Gassian and was contributed by Dominique BOILE. The shot of violinist Raffi Hakopian and Leonard Cohen is a screen capture from a video of Leonard Cohen singing “The Guests” that was originally broadcast on French TV on December 15, 1979 (see New Video – Leonard Cohen Sings The Guests, 1979). The image of the 1979 Brighton concert ticket was found at Ticket Collector.

  1. See The Leonard Cohen Christmas Album []
  2. Mark Rowland, Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough. Musician, July 1988. []
  3. stupid and contagious, Leonard Cohen: In My Secret Life, July 5, 2009 []
  4. I’ve tried suggesting a cover that might fit such an album. Heck, I even offered my own lyrics to “I’m Your Santa” – a “I’m Your Man” Meets “Santa, Baby” sort of hymn to the holiday – for the project. Inexplicably, Mr. Cohen passed on both of these efforts, which can be viewed at Leonard Cohen Christmas Album – Tracks 2 & 3. []
  5. Rare Live Songs []

Finally, A Photo Of Willie Greene Jr – Courtesy Of Jennifer Warnes

Left to right: Willie Greene Jr., Terry Evans, Bobby King

Why Jennifer Warnes Sent Me A Photo Of Willie Greene Jr

Jennifer Warnes

Just before Christmas, the Heck Of A Guy mailbag included the photo seen above accompanied by this message from Dee:

Ms Jennifer Warnes asked me to send this photo to you at your website…so here you go.

left to right: Willie Greene Jr.. Terry Evans. Bobby King

Photo by Roscoe Beck

Thank you

So, why did Jennifer Warnes send me a photo of Willie Greene Jr?

The short answer is “I asked her for a photo of Willie Greene Jr.”

No one who has read more than three Heck Of A Guy posts will be surprised to discover that we won’t be going with the short answer.

The Famous Blue Raincoat Album

That photo of Willie Greene Jr., Terry Evans, and Bobby King can indeed be found at the official Jennifer Warnes site in the Famous Blue Raincoat: 20th Anniversary Edition Photo Gallery. At that location, the legend includes, in addition to the names of the singers and the Roscoe Beck photo credit, the explanation

Recording vocals, “Coming Back to You”

Willie Greene Jr contributed backing vocals on three tracks of Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat album,1 which was released 1987: Coming Back To You, A Singer Must Die, and Bird On A Wire.

It was his efforts on that 1987 cover of Bird On A Wire that led to a concatenation of events culminating – 24 years later – in the posting of this photo today.

Famous Blue Raincoat As Audio Equipment Testing Instrument

A query about that track on that album, posed by the guy who had installed, revised, and cajoled into operation sound and TV systems for me over the past decade, precipitated the posting of Famous Blue Raincoat By Jennifer Warnes: Audiophile Addendum on August 6, 2007:

When listening to Bird On A Wire with a very high resolution sound system you can hear what sounds like a deep guttural humming along with Warnes’ vocals. On anything less than that is does not turn up at all, or sounds like a partially blown woofer. Is that Leonard Cohen humming along?

Knowing my correspondent was not one given to hallucinations or the mid-day ingestion of intoxicating doses of legal or illegal substances, I investigated, only to discover that Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat, or as the vinyl-philes affectionately call it, Cypress 661 111-1, has a second career as a test LP for audio equipment. In tech circles, in fact, the Bird On A Wire hum is quite well known.

The review of the Origin Live “Advanced” power supply and DC-100 Motor at Vinyl Asylum, for example, describes it in this manner,

On Jennifer Warnes “Famous Blue Raincoat” the song “Bird On a Wire” has a low background humming by a bass. [With the equipment being reviewed,] This humming is more distinct, with greater weight and greater extension. Musically, the humming is more integrated with the melody. The integration between octaves is tighter, vocal transitions between chest and throat are clearer and more natural sounding.

A few straightforward web searches revealed substantial information about the technical aspects of the recording, a summary of which is available at the Audiophile Addendum post. At that time, however, those web sites did not identify, as far as I was able to determine, the singer of the extraordinarily low tones on the Warnes version of Bird On A Wire.

Since there was a tie-in with with Leonard Cohen, I sent a few emails to members of the Cohen cognoscente. I only received one positive response; on the other hand that same source had been correct about obscure details on a handful of other queries. So, …

I wrote that I had received

… information from that usually reliable source1 that the referenced hum in Jennifer Warnes’ Bird on a Wire is the sound of Leonard Cohen’s voice doubling behind and an or octave below Warnes.

The original post included a caveat in the form of a footnote:

This source has been 100% correct about such matters in the past, but I have no way to double-check this tidbit so if anyone has information that confirms or conflicts with the answer I’ve reported, I’d appreciate an email.

Oops

At this point, a year passes, …

… after which, word arrives from Jennifer Warnes:

Hi Dr. Hguy;

While doing some research on Jennifer’s behalf, I came across your column from Aug 6 of last year in which your usually reliable source named Leonard Cohen as the source of low humming on Jennifer’s version of “Bird on a Wire”.

I sent the article to Jennifer; she asked me to send you the true details, straight from the diva’s keyboard:

“Will you write back for me and say that this low voice is Willie Greene Jr. He sings also on Ry Cooder’s records. His bass can reach lower than the lowest note on an acoustic piano. We proved it. Ask Billy Youdelman who was the recordist or my co producer, Roscoe Beck, for proof. Leonard’s voice dropped down after many years chanting during Zen practice.”

I hope this is helpful.

Matt Kramer

Well, it was certainly helpful.2 As I wrote in Blog Error On Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat Corrected – By Jennifer Warnes (posted September 15th, 2008):

There you have it. The ultra-low voice belongs to Willie Greene Jr. Searches for Willie Greene Jr. turn up batches of credits, including work with Lyle Lovett and the afore mentioned Ry Cooder, but, alas, no photos in which he is unambiguously identified. I did find this brief but compelling mention of Mr. Greene at the July 28, 2008 entry in Jack Bog’s Blog in a description of a Lyle Lovett performance:

But all of the side men were upstaged by the background singers who stood to the star’s immediate right. What to my wondering eyes did appear — two of them were from the earth-shaking front line of Was (Not Was), who knocked our socks off (as we knew they would) at the Wonder a while back. Sure enough, it was Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens! Next to them was bass singer Willie Greene Jr., whose voice knows no bottom and whose bottom, along with the rest of him, moved smooth as silk in synchronicity with Sweet Pea and Sir Harry. (Emphasis mine)

I extend my apologies to Mr. Greene and Mr. Cohen for the error and my thanks to Mr. Kramer and Ms Warnes for the correction.

And that was that – until three more years pass,

… at which time I received the photo of Willie Greene Jr displayed near the top of this post, which is, I assume, the response to my request for a shot of Mr Greene that I included with my thank-you note written just before that 2008 post correcting the misidentification of the humming source.

The Willie Greene Jr Gallery

Happily, with the photo Jennifer Warnes forwarded and additional help from the webmaster of the aforementioned Jack Bog’s Blog, I’ve been able to identify a few other online images of Willie Greene Jr.

The middle three men in the above shot, found at Concert review: Lyle Lovett and His Big Band at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg by Tracy May (Daily Loaf: Nov 27, 2010), are the backup vocalists for Lyle Lovett. From left to right, they are Willie Greene Jr, Sir Harry Bowens, and Sweet Pea Atkinson.

The two photos below are identified as Willie Greene Jr at Discogs.com:

And finally, Willie Greene can be viewed as supporting vocalist in this Lyle Lovett performance of I’m Going to Wait at Chastain Park in Atlanta on July 6, 2008.

(Tentative) Conclusion

I hope Willie Greene Jr, my sound & TV installer, Jennifer Warnes, and Heck Of A Guy readers are now satisfied with the completeness of the answer to the original question about the source of the humming on Bird On A Wire from The Famous Blue Raincoat album if not the length of time required for that answer.

I even more fervently hope the information now offered is correct. If not, I’m sure I will (eventually) be notified, occasioning another post on the topic.

In respect to the four year lag between this post and and the first entry in this series, I have chosen to interpret it as an indicator of the tenacity and persistence characteristic of both Jennifer Warnes, who has recently been back on Tour and who performs on Leonard Cohen’s forthcoming Old Ideas album, and yours truly, who keeps blogging along for reasons as unclear to him as it is to others. I suspect, in both case, it has to do with the trait also shared by and exquisitely expressed in the lyrics of Leonard Cohen:

But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay, I’m junk but I’m still holding up
this little wild bouquet3

  1. For the three Heck Of A Guy readers who don’t recognize this album by name, Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat consists entirely of covers of Leonard Cohen songs and is attributed by Cohen for the revitalization of his reputation as a singer-songwriter. It was also the first record produced by Roscoe Beck []
  2. For the record, I confess that I did not pursue, as suggested, confirmation from either Mssrs Youdelman or Beck, choosing inst instead to trust both the accuracy and integrity of Ms Warnes. []
  3. From Democracy by Leonard Cohen []

Exclusive Video: Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Christmas Promotion

World Premiere Of Banned Leonard Cohen Performance

To promote the Old Ideas album, Leonard Cohen’s record label persuaded him, Dino Soldo, Sharon Robinson, Anjani Thomas, and Jennifer Warnes to perform a holiday greeting for fans.

While the powers that be inexplicably decided not to release this video, Heck Of A Guy operatives have liberated it for viewing here.

New Video – Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes Sing Silent Night 1979

The Christmas-Hanukkah-Ramadan-Kwanzaa-Name Your Own Holiday Album Phenomenon

As ongoing readers may know, the Leonard Cohen Christmas album has yet to enter that notably diverse pantheon of holiday CDs that includes such specimens  as Twisted Sister’s “Twisted Christmas,” Jethro Tull’s “The Jethro Tull Christmas Album,” “A John Waters Christmas” by various artists, Afroman’s “A Colt 45 Christmas,” and William Hung’s “Hung For The Holidays.”1

The Leonard Cohen Christmas Project

Leonard Cohen’s songs and albums are often the result of long gestations. “I’m Your Man” was an album three years in the making.2 “Hallelujah” alone, Cohen attests, took over two years to complete. “In My Secret Life” required 13 years to progress from conception to release – even with Sharon Robinson helping.3

Nonetheless, even Cohen’s most ardent fans can be forgiven if they despair over his Christmas compilation, which is now in its 32th year of preparation with only one song to show for the effort.4

Well, at least it’s a pretty good song.

Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes – Silent Night

This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert.5

There is no film of the performance itself; consequently, I’ve constructed a video montage of photos of Cohen and Warnes, drawings by Leonard Cohen, and a clip of a very young Leonard and his sister Esther skating to complement the music.

Download Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes

The audio recording of Silent Night by Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes used in the video is the same MP3 available as a track on the Another Other Leonard Cohen Album. Information about those songs and download instructions are available at the link.

Credit Due Department: The photo of Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes is by Claude Gassian and was contributed by Dominique BOILE. The shot of violinist Raffi Hakopian and Leonard Cohen is a screen capture from a video of Leonard Cohen singing “The Guests” that was originally broadcast on French TV on December 15, 1979 (see New Video – Leonard Cohen Sings The Guests, 1979). The image of the 1979 Brighton concert ticket was found at Ticket Collector.

  1. See The Leonard Cohen Christmas Album []
  2. Mark Rowland, Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough. Musician, July 1988. []
  3. stupid and contagious, Leonard Cohen: In My Secret Life, July 5, 2009 []
  4. I’ve tried suggesting a cover that might fit such an album. Heck, I even offered my own lyrics to “I’m Your Santa” – a “I’m Your Man” Meets “Santa, Baby” sort of hymn to the holiday – for the project. Inexplicably, Mr. Cohen passed on both of these efforts, which can be viewed at Leonard Cohen Christmas Album – Tracks 2 & 3. []
  5. Rare Live Songs []

Info About “Show Me The Place” By Leonard Cohen With Jennifer Warnes And More On Old Ideas Album

“Show Me The Place” by Leonard Cohen With Jennifer Warnes To Begin Streaming Today

“Show Me The Place, the third track from Old Ideas is, according to Sony’s press release for the album, slated to stream from Leonard Cohen’s official site starting today. It is also available as an instant download (in MP3 format) for those who pre-order through LeonardCohen.com.

Update: Listen To New Leonard Cohen Song – Show Me The Place From Old Ideas CD

On LeonardCohenForum, Jarkko (webmaster of both LeonardCohenForum and LeonardCohenFiles)  confirms speculation by those hearing the song that female vocalist on the song is Jennifer Warnes. (See Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Album To Feature Jennifer Warnes And Anjani)

Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes 1972

Patrick Leonard wrote, produced, arranged, engineered, programmed and performed the music.

Q: What tune was THE ONE that made you most proud? 

A: I’m really fond of a song I recently wrote with Leonard Cohen. It’s called “Show Me the Place.” It’s impossibly simple. I don’t do pride. I believe it anchors one too much. I tend towards liking or being content with something rather than pride. I recommend it. Finding satisfaction, I mean.1

Lyrics: “Show Me The Place”

rpan posted lyrics for “Show Me The Place” (with this caveat: “I think these are the lyrics, one or two doubts”) at LeonardCohenForumUpdate: Bev (aka B4real ) subsequently suggested a modification, which I have included below, changing the line “A shred of light” to “A thread of light.”

Show me the place where you want your slave to go
Show me the place I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place for my head is bending low
Show me the place where you want your slave to go
Show me the place help me roll away the stone
Show me the place I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the Word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began
——————–
The troubles came I saved what I could save
A thread of light a particle a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave
———————-
Show me the place where you want your slave to go
Show me the place I’ve forgotten I don’t know
Show me the place for my head is bent and low
Show me the place where you want your slave to go
——————————-
The troubles came I saved what I could save
A thread of light a particle a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave
———————-
Show me the place
Show me the place
Show me the place
——————————-
Show me the place help me roll away the stone
Show me the place I can’t move this thing alone
Show me the place where the Word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

Personnel for Old Ideas

As per the press release, the album “was produced by Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo. The album also features guest vocalists Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley Webb) and Jennifer Warnes.”

Old Ideas Art

A LeonardCohenForum post by Jarkko informs us that

Leonard designed the cover, using a photo by Kezban Özcan. The CD booklet will be designed by Michael Petit.

Credit Due Department: The photo of Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes is by Claude Gassian and was contributed by Dominique BOILE. I was made aware of the interview with Patrick Leonard from which his quote was taken by a LeonardCohenForum post authored by Hartmut.

fedoradivider

Other Old Ideas Posts

  1. From Q & A with Patrick Leonard III []

Donna Washburn 1972 Leonard Cohen Tour Backup Singer – 1970? Not So Much

Jennifer Warnes, Leonard Cohen, Donna Washburn - Paris, April 18, 1972 (Photo by Claude Gassian from private collection of Dominique BOILE)

More Weirdness From The 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour

The final piece of the 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour Backup Singers puzzle is the role Donna Washburn played as backup singer that year.

It should surprise no one who has been following the Heck Of A Guy account of the to discover that, notwithstanding reports found on the official Leonard Cohen site, LeonardCohenFiles, LeonardCohenForum, and 1800+ other sites – including the usually astute Heck Of A Guy – declaring that she served as backup singer at the most famous of Leonard Cohen’s 1970 concerts, the number of times Donna Washburn sang backup to Leonard Cohen in 1970 was zero, zip, zilch, nada, …

She was, however, a backup singer during the Leonard Cohen 1972 tour although she is overshadowed by Jennifer Warnes, Cohen’s other female vocalist that year. And, Washburn had an interesting professional career prior to 1972. But, first, let’s clear up the mistaken notion that she sang backup for Cohen in 1970.

Click on images to enlarge

Another Cautionary Tale About Internet-abetted Press Releases

The problem arises from the official blurb for the 2009 release of the Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle of Wight 1970 CD/DVD  put out by Columbia/Legacy:

CD-DVD Cover art - Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970

This excerpt is taken from the copy of the press release from LeonardCohen.com but is identical to that found on hundreds of other sites:

The CD (and double-LP) of ‘Live At The Isle of Wight 1970′ represent the 77-minute concert set as performed by Cohen and his backup band: Bob Johnston (Cohen’s Nashville-based Columbia A&R staff producer), and Nashville musicians Charlie Daniels (electric bass, fiddle), Ron Cornelius (lead guitar), and Elkin ‘Bubba’ Fowler (bass, banjo). They were joined by backup singers Corlynn Hanney, Susan Musmanno, and Donna Washburn. [emphasis mine]

As noted above, that same phrase,”backup singers Corlynn Hanney, Susan Musmanno, and Donna Washburn,” is found by Google at the official Leonard Cohen site, LeonardCohenFiles, LeonardCohenForum, and 1800+ other sites – including this one.

While my attempts to discover through official channels why Donna Washburn was credited as a backup singer on the Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle of Wight 1970 CD/DVD were unrequited, Aileen Fowler aka Susan Musmanno (backup singer, along with Corlynn Hanney, on the 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour) offers helpful information:1

… there’s a third girl onstage in the Isle of Wight video; that was the only time I ever saw her. She was a friend of Ron Cornelius’s. I don’t recall ever seeing Donna except at the Isle of Wight. I am assuming that she is the girl sitting behind Ron in the video. She doesn’t appear to be miked, and looks like she is just jamming along. We never rehearsed with her. I can’t think that she would have been paid. And that was the only time she showed up on my watch. Why she got a backup singer credit for that performance at IOW is a mystery to me.

Donna Washburn (2nd from left) at Leonard Cohen Isle Of Wight Concert. Contributed by Dominique BOILE.

The screenshot below from the Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle of Wight 1970 DVD shows Donna Washburn (far left) behind Ron Cornelius (with guitar).

Donna Washburn (far left) behind Ron Cornelius (with guitar) at Leonard Cohen Isle Of Wight Concert 1970

The image below, also a screenshot from the same DVD, shows, from left to right, 1970 backup singers Corlynn Hanney and Susan Musmanno and 1972 backup singer to be, Donna Washburn.

Donna Washburn – The Real Story

According to Ira Nadel’s biography of Cohen, Various Positions (Random House of Canada, 1996), Donna Washburn and Jennifer Warnes auditioned for the 1972 Leonard Cohen tour in March 1972, two days before the band was to leave for Dublin. Cohen explained to both vocalists that

the reason I need girls to sing with me is that my voice depresses me. I need your voices to sweeten mine.

Tellingly, while Nadel goes on to discuss Warnes at some length in his book, the description of the audition is the only time Washburn is mentioned. She was credited as a vocalist on the 1973 album, Live Songs Leonard Cohen. But, Donna Washburn did exist – exuberantly at times – before she signed on with Leonard Cohen – or even visited his stage.

Donna Washburn - Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour (Photo: Linda Wolf )

Donna Washburn BC (Before Cohen)

Donna Washburn’s professional music career began when she joined Dillard & Clark (Gene Clark, formerly of the Byrds) in February 1969 on guitar, tambourine, and vocals.2

She is credited on their second album, Through The Morning, Through The Night.

The intriguing part of the story, however, is how she came to the group and the consequences, as explained in this excerpt (click on image to enlarge) from Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds’ Gene Clark by John Einarson (Backbeat Books. February 1, 2005):

 From Dillard & Clark to Mad Dogs & Englishmen

The Mad Dogs & Englishmen Troupe

In March 1970, she left Dillard & Clark to join the Joe Cocker-Leon Russell project, Mad Dogs & Englishmen as one of ten vocalists in the Space Choir, a group which also included Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear.

The final concert of that short-lived, high-energy tour was in San Bernardino, California on May 16, 1970.

Donna Washburn and Claudia Lennear (Photo: Linda Wolf )

Donna can be seen singing during this video of  Cry Me A River performed by Joe Cocker during the 1970 Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour.

As far as Internet sources are concerned, Donna Washburn seems to have disappeared since her 1972 stint with Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen with band and backup singers, Jennifer Warnes & Donna Washburn

Discography3

Albums As A Band Member

  • Through The Morning, Through The Night – Dillard & Clark (1969)
  • Mad Dogs And Englishmen – Joe Cocker (09/1970)
  • Live Songs – Leonard Cohen (1973)
  • Gene Clark And Doug Dillard – Dillard & Clark (1975)
  • The Last Of The British Blues – John Mayall (1978)

Compilations As A Band Member

  • Greatest Hits – Joe Cocker (1978)
  • The Anthology – Joe Cocker (08/1999)

Albums With Bandmates And Friends

  • Douglas Flint Dillard – Doug Dillard (1974)
  • Heaven – Doug Dillard (1979)    Brenda Patterson – Brenda Patterson (1973)

Sessions

  • Into The Purple Valley – Ry Cooder (1972)
  • Less Than A Song – Hoyt Axton (1973)
  • Brenda Patterson – Brenda Patterson (1973)
  • Road Songs – Hoyt Axton (1977)

Credit Due Department: Photo of The Mad Dogs & Englishmen Troupe credited to MGM; found at Harmonic Prospector. The photo of Leonard Cohen and his 1972 musicians near the end of the post was contributed by Dominique BOILE. Other photos credited as indicated in the text of the post.

  1. Aileen and her husband, Elkin Fowler, guitarist during the 1970 tour have been especially useful in filling in the blanks about the 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour. See Susan Musmanno, Corlynn Hanney, & Aileen Fowler – Leonard Cohen’s 2 Great Backup Singers In 1970. []
  2. Well, that’s the earliest date I can confirm that she worked as a musical professional.  This excerpt (click on imae to enlarge) from Bobby Whitlock: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Autobiography by Bobby Whitlock, Marc Roberty, Eric (FRW) Clapton mentions a Donna Washburn who co-wrote a song with Leon Russell in or before 1967 [underlining mine]:

    Unfortunately, I cannot confirm or refute that this is the same Donna Washburn who later sang backup for Leonard Cohen and worked with Leon Russell. []

  3. Adapted from The Musicians’ Olympus []