From the humble beginnings of responding to a newspaper advert, to the release of his debut album, the 60s saw Elton John’s career take off.


The ad that started it all.

On June 17, 1967 an advertisement appeared in the New Musical Express, the famed British pop music weekly. Tucked inside, behind The Monkees on the cover and among stories and reviews of The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces and others, the ad reads “Liberty Wants Talent.”

The man who placed the ad was Ray Williams. On receiving applications from 20-year-old Reg Dwight and 17-year-old Bernie Taupin, Williams noticed their dovetail talents and launched one of the the greatest songwriting partnerships in history.

Elton and Bernie during a 1968 photo shoot for Dick James Music.

“I’ve Been Loving You” is the debut single by Reg Dwight as Elton John.

The song’s lyrics were originally credited to Bernie Taupin, although Elton later admitted that he had written the entire song himself.


Empty Sky

The album that started it all! While Elton’s debut album was released in 1969 in the UK, it wasn’t officially released in the US until 1975 and then with different artwork than the original release.

April 1969 - Elton with his new Hillman Husky Estate auto.

Elton writes the music to “Your Song”.

On October 27 1969, Elton “didn’t do anything” apart from writing the song that would change his life and career forever.

Your Song was released a year later, on 1970’s album Elton John, and has been described as “near-perfect”. It is certified platinum in the USA, has been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify and is considered by Rolling Stone as one of the Greatest Songs of All Time.

Elton's journal entry from October 1969.