Credit: Andrew Renneisen / gettyimages

WCSX Classic Cuts : Bennie and the Jets

WCSX Classic Cuts

Elton John: "Bennie and the Jets"

The Hook: "Bennie..." broke on black radio in Detroit, which couldn't have pleased Elton more.

Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Year: 1973

Writers: Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Stats: Topped the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Elton John was against releasing "Bennie and the Jets" as the third U.S. single off Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the U.S. He thought that "Candle in the Wind" had a much better shot at being successful here. That is, until he received some news from the record label. A Canadian station in Windsor, Ontario, near Detroit, had started playing the song and now it was number-one on the Motor City's black radio stations. Elton recalls his reaction.

Elton John on his reaction when he found out that “Bennie and the Jets” was number-one at a black radio station in Detroit. OC:…out of. :24


“How ironic that one of the greatest soul music places in the world like Detroit. You have to realize that when I first came to America and went to places like Memphis, I went to the Stax studio and nealt before the 8-track machine and kissed it. I went to Motown Studios. I went to the Apollo Theater in New York. As a British person who loved American music, it was very, very important to me to pay homage to the places where the great music came out of.”

Bennie And The Jets (Red Piano Show - Live in Las Vegas)

Music video by Elton John performing Bennie And The Jets. (C) 2005 HST Management Limited Under Exclusive License to Mercury Records Limited