Elton John is what Reg Dwight always wanted to be- Sir Elton Hercules John






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The importance of being Sir Elton John
Unfortunately, when some hear the name Elton John, they think of the sex thing, The Lion King guy, or some entertainer from a different era. What they fail to see is what an important fact of life Elton John is. From often being mentioned on American television shows like Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, South Park, and many others, to hearing his influence on current music, to having musical recording groups taking their name from Elton's songs, like Funeral For A Friend, to having several movies sharing the same titles as many of his songs. Don't Go Breakin' My Heart and Original Sin come quickly to mind. To movies using his music like the Al Pacino movie, Dog Day Afternoon, Almost Famous, and many others. Elton John's presense is never far from being felt. Many of us have a general idea of how this happened. When Elton, then known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, used to play his granny's piano at the age of three. Eventually his playing evolved into melodies. He was attending school at the Royal Academy Of Music when Reginald first heard Rock n Roll courtesy of his mother's newly bought records, Tootie Fruitie, Rock Around The Clock, and Hound Dog. Elton quit the school before taking his "a" level grades to join his first band, The Corvettes- later Bluesology. Back at home, his father was in the military, and Reginald didn't get a chance to have a strong relationship with him because his father was usually away. Eventually his parents divorced and his mother re-married. Reginald grew frustrated with the band, which used to back up American touring artist like Patti LaBelle, and tried to audition on his own for Liberty, which were looking for new talent. He failed his audtion, which consisted of 5 Jim Reeve's songs, but walked away with a pile of lyrics from fellow reject Bernard Taupin. The pairing was a natural, one was a musician who couldn't write lyrics very well, and the other could write worthwhile lyrics, but was not musically inclined. The match was a perfect one. While Reginald was writing songs with Bernard, he was still making little money with Bluesology. The two moved in together in Reginald's mother's house and slept on bunk beds. Thankfully, no songs were written on the bunkbeds. Reginald quit Bluesology as Reginald and Bernard concentrated on writing songs for other artists. Reginald took the name of sax player Elton Dean and the first name of Long John Baldry. Elton John was born. Elton and Bernie submitted a song entitled "I can't go on living without you" for a Eurovision contest. The winning song was to be recorded by the singer Lulu. It got edged out of winning, but made one of the final cuts. Elton and Bernie were encouraged by Steve Brown to write what they felt inside and not try to write songs Engelbert Humperdinck might take a liking to. American group Three Dog Night recorded Elton/ Bernie songs. Eventually, Elton was "forced" to sing his own songs. The writing duo had already written flop singles when they wrote the songs that would become Elton's first album, Empty Sky. The songs were raw and pretentious, as well should have been expected by judging by their ages. The songs also showed strong promise. Elton was clearly a gifted musician and singer, and Bernie showed flashes of genius as well. The album wasn't a great seller, but it did give the pair the courage to continue. Elton was trying to make a name for himself by performing. For Elton's next album, a huge amount of money was needed for an unproven artist to have a live orchestra on the new project. What emerged was an innocent collection of songs that had gospel, rock, classical, and even a country feel to them. The album still defies categorization. A few artists, including Aretha Franklin recorded "Border Song." Elton's version was released by Dick James Music. Elton's version failed again, but is still beloved by fans today all over the world. The sweet, innocent "Your Song" became Elton's second single in from the "Elton John" album. Meanwhile, Elton was asked to go to America to perform. Elton was always an avid record collector. He saw coming to America as a chance to get more records from these giant record stores like Tower Records. Elton John, Dee Murray, and Nigel Olssen made their American debut at The Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. Elton was wearing a beard and a shirt that proclaimed "Rock N Roll." Elton and the "hot little trio" recreated the orchestral sound that the Elton John album showcased. If you think about it, that is incredible. Piano, Bass, and Drums performing what an orchestra created on it's first American gig. It was August 1970. Elton John has arrived. The critics raved, the next day, Elton woke up a star. It was called by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the concerts that changed Rock N Roll. ....And Elton and Bernie are still writing their history 40 years later!
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