“Don’t let the sun go down on me.” — Bernie Taupin
Bernard John Taupin was born on this day in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England in 1950. He is 63 years old.
Bernie was the middle son born to Robert and Daphne Taupin. His father was a farmer and stock man, his mother a nanny. He has an older brother, Tony. Little brother Christopher (aka Kit) came along 11 years after Bernie was born.
Bernie credits his mother and paternal grandfather for instilling him with an appreciation for literature, nature, history, music and poetry. Although Bernie didn’t have much interest in traditional education, he demonstrated an uncommon flair for writing. [Bernie Taupin Biography]
At 15 he dropped out of school and spent two years hopping from one dead-end job to the next in rural England. Then, in 1967, he saw an ad in New Musical Express. Liberty Records was looking for talent. He answered the ad. So did Reginald Kenneth Dwight (aka Elton John). The two joined forces to become one of the best song writing teams in the history of rock and roll.
With a musical partnership that has lasted longer than many marriages the John and Taupin have released 356 songs (more than “Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards combined” [Elton John.com] According to John Taupin makes it easy…
…He’s a very cinematic writer. I get a piece of paper [from him] and it has as story on it. Then I sit down at the keyboard and hope and pray that something is going to come out. Because the story that he’s telling affects what I’m hearing. [Ibid]
Although Taupin wrote with other musicians (Alice Cooper, Melissa Manchester and Heart to name a few) it was the songs he forged with Elton John that became the sound track to a post Beatles generation.
Their first hit was 1970’s Your Song.
[OK I’m going to stop writing for a while and just let you listen to some of the best of Bernie and Elton… feel free to sing along and play air guitar/piano or drums as you wish]
Here’s Tiny Dancer
and Benny and Jets
and Yellow Brick Road
and Philadelphia Freedom
and Sun Go Down On Me
Bernie lives with his family on a working ranch in southern California where he breeds and trains cutting horses, hosts his own radio show, Bernie Taupin’s American Roots Radio, on Sirius/ XM Channel 30, and pursues a successful career as a painter. This year, “Beyond Words: An Exhibition Of Contemporary & Extraordinary Artworks By Famed Lyricist & Artist Bernie Taupin” has been touring select art galleries across America. [Elton John.com]