1 January

Pick a Day

Timeline : Elton John

Page 1
1 2 ... 4
March 25, 1947

Elton John is born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex, England. His stage name, taken at age 20, comes from two members of the band Bluesology: Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.

February 10, 1949

Nigel Olsson, a drummer known for his work with Elton John, is born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England.

April 14, 1950

The character Dan Dare appears on the front cover of the British comic Eagle, later inspiring a song by Elton John.

May 22, 1950

Bernie Taupin is born in Lincolnshire, England. He becomes Elton John's lyricist, and also co-writes #1 hits for two other acts: "These Dreams" for Heart and "We Built This City" for Starship.

May 6, 1951

Guitarist Davey Johnstone, a longtime member of Elton John's band, is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

December 11, 1966

Elton John's band, Bluesology, opens for Little Richard at a show in London. Elton later says: "When I saw Little Richard standing on top of the piano, all lights, sequins and energy, I decided there and then that I was going to be a rock and roll piano player."

June 17, 1967

Liberty Records runs an ad in the British music magazine New Musical Express that reads: "Liberty wants talent. Artists/composers/singers/musicians to form a new group." Among the thousands of applicants are lyricist Bernie Taupin and musician Elton John. The label teams them up, resulting in one of the greatest songwriting duos in rock history.

November 7, 1967

Elton John, still going by his given name of Reg Dwight, and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin sign their first major publishing deal. Their parents are there to witness the signing, as both are still minors.

May 7, 1968

On a plane ride returning home from his last gig with the band Bluesology, keyboard player Reginald Dwight looks for a stage name he can use for his burgeoning solo career. In the cabin, he comes across the band's horn player Elton Dean and lead singer Long John Baldry, and asks them if he can appropriate their names to concoct a new one for himself. They agree, and Elton John is born.

June 3, 1969

Elton John's first album, Empty Sky, is released in the UK and initially sells 4,000 copies. It isn't released in America until 1975.

December 23, 1969

Elton John meets for the first time with what would become his classic team - songwriter Bernie Taupin, arranger Paul Buckmaster, and producer Gus Dudgeon - to begin work on his first solo album.

March 20, 1970

Elton John's "Border Song" is released, but fails to chart in the UK (it reaches #92 in the US). Nearly a year later, "Your Song" becomes his first hit.

April 21, 1970

Elton John makes his stage debut as a solo act when he opens for T. Rex, Spooky Tooth, and Jackie Lomax at the Roundhouse in London.

April 10, 1970

Elton John releases Elton John, his first album in America and second in the UK. It includes "Your Song" and "Take Me To The Pilot."

August 25, 1970

The little-known 23-year-old singer Elton John plays his first live show in the United States, co-headlining with the singer/songwriter David Ackles at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. The show gets rave reviews, giving him a huge career boost in America.More

August 22, 1970

Elton John signs with Uni, a division of MCA, as a solo act.

October 26, 1970

Elton John releases "Your Song," which becomes his first hit.

November 17, 1970

Elton John plays live in a recording studio, accompanied by just two musicians: Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums. Broadcast on WABC-FM (which would later become WPLJ), it's the first live FM broadcast from a music studio. The recording is later released as 17-11-70, Elton's first live album.

November 5, 1971

Elton John releases his fourth album, Madman Across The Water. It doesn't contain any big hits, but "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon" endure as classics.

December 8, 1971

Reginald Dwight legally changes his name to Elton Hercules John. He had been using the "Elton John" name since 1968, but had never made it official. The middle name he picked in honor of the mythological hero, which also happened to be the name of a horse on one of his favorite British TV shows: Steptoe and Son.

May 19, 1972

Elton John releases Honky Chateau, which includes "Rocket Man." It becomes his first #1 album in America, igniting a run of six consecutive chart toppers.

May 6, 1972

Elton John releases "Rocket Man."

July 15, 1972

Elton John lands his first #1 album in America as Honky Chateau blasts to the top thanks to the hit "Rocket Man." His next five albums also enter that orbit, going to #1.

October 30, 1972

Nine years after The Beatles did it, Elton John becomes the second rock act to play a Command Performance for Britain's royalty.

November 20, 1972

Elton John releases "Crocodile Rock" in the US.

January 26, 1973

Elton John issues his sixth studio album, Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player, in America. It features two of his most popular songs: the '50s flashback "Crocodile Rock" (Elton's first #1 hit in America) and the Vietnam War-inspired "Daniel."More

February 3, 1973

Elton John's reptilian rocker "Crocodile Rock" hits #1 in America for the first of three weeks, giving him his first chart-topper in that country.

March 31, 1973

Elton John appears on the front page of Melody Maker, which proclaims, "Now Elton's A Teen Idol!"

March 3, 1973

Elton John's album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player hits #1 in America, where it stays for two weeks.

October 5, 1973

Elton John releases Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, his most successful studio album.More

Page 1
1 2 ... 4
Back to Timelines

©2023 Songfacts®, LLC