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.
Nigel Olsson, a drummer known for his work with Elton John, is born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England.
The character Dan Dare appears on the front cover of the British comic Eagle, later inspiring a song by Elton John.
Guitarist Davey Johnstone, a longtime member of Elton John's band, is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elton John signs with Uni, a division of MCA, as a solo act.
Elton John releases "Your Song," which becomes his first hit.
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.
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.
Elton John releases "Rocket Man."
Elton John releases "Crocodile Rock" in the US.
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.
Elton John appears on the front page of Melody Maker, which proclaims, "Now Elton's A Teen Idol!"
Elton John's album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player hits #1 in America, where it stays for two weeks.
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