This week’s Elton Blog begins with a congratulatory message. That’s for Elton and Bernie Taupin, who are to receive the 2024 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on 20 March in Washington, DC. An invitation-only tribute concert is also planned for that date, and the proceedings will air on 8 April on PBS stations.
We’d imagine many of the performers will have teamed with Elton, if not Bernie. In Elton’s case, that could include Don’t Go Breaking My Heart‘s Kiki Dee or Cold Heart‘s Dua Lipa, not to mention artists he has championed on Rocket Hour.
As for Bernie, Martin-Page could be among those taking part. The singer and composer has said that they ”started off with a bang,” as their first two collabs were We Built This City and These Dreams, which became hits, respectively, for Starship and Heart. Martin was also a producer and writer on Bernie’s solo album, Tribe, and expects to release his own solo disc this year.
“Throwback Thursday – THESE DREAMS – recorded by HEART”
It’s become a bit of a folklore tale – the fact that when Bernie Taupin and I agreed to collaborate, the first two lyrics Bernie gave me were “We Built This City” and “These Dreams”. – https://t.co/FZVzYXgHf1 pic.twitter.com/xp20MFRvUZ
— Martin Page (@martinpagemusic) October 24, 2019
It’s possible that Willie Nelson, a Gershwin Prize recipient himself, could appear. His successful duet with Lee Ann Womack, Mendocino County Line, was penned by Bernie and Matt Serletic (it won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration).
The prize is named after George and Ira Gershwin, and other honorees have included Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Wonder.
Elton considers a great honour for ”two British guys,” and Bernie finds it humbling to be ”in a house along with the great American songwriters, to even be in the same avenue.”
We’re reminded of the 1994 flick, Four Weddings and a Funeral, as Elton sang Gershwin‘s But-Not-For-Me on the soundtrack.
It was also in 1994 that Elton was a guest on The Glory of Gershwin album.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation has been honoured as well with an Anthem Award for their Let Your Inner Elton Out campaign. Did you join others in donning hats, feathers, and other apparel?
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The Anthem Awards were launched by the Webby Awards to pay tribute to important social work around the world.
TikTok, though, isn’t a winner in the eyes of the Universal Music Group. UMG, whose roster includes Elton, announced on Wednesday that music from their artists and songwriters will no longer appear on the social platform because they aren’t being fairly compensated. UMG was concerned, too, about protections from AI and online safety for TikTok users.
Elton’s music was heard on Friday at Derek Draper’s funeral. He sang Skyline Pigeon, and words like ”let me fly to distant lands” made a number of attendees well up, according to the Mirror. But it was his appearance which has set off speculation. OK! expressed concern because Elton walked with a cane and had ”some sort of medical accessory on his foot.” Then again, the singer did have knee surgery last month.
The Evoke website brought up another time when Elton needed a cane–after his hip surgery in 2021. They went on to claim that the star has used such ”a prop” for years, in music videos and stage shows . . . which is an exaggeration and not in very good taste.
A few years ago, Elton admitted he’d lost his taste for performing Crocodile Rock. He told Troy-Deeney-about-the-tune-he-could-not-get-away-from, which was Crocodile Rock. Even so, the tune hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 10 February 1973. And quite a few years later, Elton joined Nelly Furtado on Crocodile-Rock for the Gnomeo & Juliet animated movie.
And last summer, ahead of Elton’s final UK concert appearance at Glastonbury, the Telegraph named it one of Elton’s ”20 essential songs” while the King’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace broke into a rendition of Crocodile Rock.