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
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.”