Anniversary of Elton John's First Hit
When Bernie Taupin and Elton John first began working together, the piano man was still going by his birthname – Reginald Dwight. Friends and musicians knew him as Reggie, a pub piano player and a musician with the group Bluesology, who often backed American R&B and soul acts when they played England. Bernie and "Reggie" were first linked up in 1966, through Liberty Records A&R man Ray Williams, when each of them added an ad in the NME.
Williams gave a bunch of Taupin's lyrics to the young singer, who began to set music to them and then mail the finished compositions back to Bernie. By the time the two met in person for the first time, in 1967, Reggie had taken the name Elton John (after Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry). Little did they know, their partnership would continue for decades and decades.
Although John and Taupin struck up a fast friendship and a productive working relationship, the pair's songs didn't achieve instant success. In the late '60s, they mostly wrote easy-listening schmaltz for other pop singers. Elton also did some session work, including playing piano on The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother." more on this story
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