• By Alan Richard

ELTON JOHN'S GAY COUNTRY SOUL


Elton John and Leon Russell (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)

Elton John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin were star-struck when the members of The Band filed into John’s dressing room after a gig in Philadelphia. Just 23 at the time, John had marveled at the imaginative music of the band behind swampy, rootsy songs such as “The Weight.”


“Like Leon Russell’s piano playing, their songs felt like someone switching a torch on and showing us a new path to follow, a way we could do what we wanted to do,” John writes in his new autobiography, Me. “They were white musicians making soul music without covering ‘In the Midnight Hour,’ or doing something that was just a pale imitation of what black artists did. It was a revelation.”


Read more about John’s country and soul influences and enjoy some great music videos in our curator’s story for the online magazine, Country Queer (which is a great read in general).



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