Today in Music History: Elton John released "Rocket Man"

Elton John performing in February 2020
Elton John performs at Mission Estate on February 06, 2020 in Napier, New Zealand. (Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

History Highlight:

Today in 1972, Elton John released "Rocket Man". The song, whose official title is "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)", was written by Elton and Bernie Taupin, first appeared on Elton's 1972 album Honky Chateau and became a hit single, rising to No. 2 in the U.K. Singles Chart and No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone lists the song at No. 245 of its 500 greatest songs of all time, and Current listeners voted the song No. 668 on their list of 893 Essential Songs.

Also, Today In:

1965 - Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, while staying in a hotel in Clearwater, Fla., worked out the opening guitar riff of what would become the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", following Richard's purchase of a Gibson fuzz box earlier that day. The song is considered one of the all-time greatest rock songs ever recorded. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed "Satisfaction" in the second spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

1971 - Ike and Tina Turner received their only Gold Record for their version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song, "Proud Mary." In the immortal words of Tina Turner, "We never do anything nice and easy; we always do everything … rough."

1973 - Paul Simon kicked off what would be his first tour without Art Garfunkel.

1977 - Drawing some 76,229 to the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., Led Zeppelin broke their own record for the largest gathering to attend a concert by a single act.

1994 - Pearl Jam filed charges against Ticketmaster in a federal court, claiming monopolistic practices on the part of the ticketing agency. The band didn't want to charge more than $18.50 for tickets at the time, with service fees of no more than $1.80. Ticketmaster balked, saying that they needed at least $2 in fees to cover costs. Pearl Jam skipped their tour that summer as the case continued and they tried to play venues that didn't use Ticketmaster to sell their tickets. The band ended up losing in court, and eventually had to book their next tour with Ticketmaster.

1997 - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is held in Cleveland at the site of the hall itself for the first time. Previous ceremonies had only been held in New York City. Among the 1997 inductees were the Bee Gees, the Jackson Five, Joni Mitchell, the Young Rascals, Parliament, and Crosby Stills and Nash.

2000 - Local boy John Mellencamp was bestowed an honorary doctorate of music by Indiana University. Mellencamp also served as commencement speaker for the Class of 2000, removing his academic gown as he approached the lectern in the 80-degree heat.

2003 - Following Dixie Chicks member Natalie Maines' comments opposing President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, a Colorado radio station suspended two of its disc jockeys for playing music by the Dixie Chicks.

2005 - Starbucks Coffee banned the sale of Bruce Springsteen's latest album Devils and Dust over concerns about its adult content. The retailer said it would promote other albums instead.

2013 - Lauryn Hill was sentenced in New Jersey to three months in jail for tax evasion.

2015 - British-Jamaican singer and songwriter Errol Brown, best-known as the frontman of the soul and funk band Hot Chocolate died of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas.

2020 - Brian Howe died of cardiac arrest at age 66. He is best-known for replacing Paul Rodgers as the lead vocalist of Bad Company. Howe's career was jump-started in 1983 when Ted Nugent recruited him to handle lead vocals for his Penetrator album and front its subsequent world tour.


Bob Seger is 76.

Americana singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 76.

Davey Johnstone of the Elton John band is 70.

John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants is 61.

Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish is 54.

Foo Fighters lead guitarist Chris Shiflett is 50.

Hip hop recording artist Meek Mill is 34.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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