CBSN

Rocketman's Network Debut

001201 earlyshow sir elton john
CBS
After all the years Elton John has been performing professionally – about 35 – and all the hits he's had, it may be hard to believe: He's never had his own network televised concert special- at least until Friday night.

CBS News Entertainment Correspondent Mark McEwen spoke with Sir Elton John about his first primetime special, which aired last week on CBS.

As you might expect, there is already a CD of the concert available, a sort of musical two-for-one. And while the special had a lot of Elton's greatest solo hits, there are also plenty of duets with some big time performers, including his old singing partner Kiki Dee.

Elton explained the genesis behind his song Crocodile Rock.

"It was a song meant to be a tribute to the music I grew up with in the '60s. But that's the song that the audience loves to join in the most," he said.

Many people would say are their favorite Elton John song is Good-bye Yellow Brick Road. Elton says it still stands the test of time.

Elton John was born Reginald Dwight in England in 1947. He put together his first band, Bluesology, in the early 1960s. After a slow start, he found tremendous success in the 1970s. Between 1972 and 1975, Elton had seven consecutive number one albums. His hit songs include:

  • Rocket Man
  • Daniel
  • Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting
  • Candle In The Wind
  • Somebody Saved My Life Tonight
  • I'm Still Standing
Elton also co-wrote five songs with Tim Rice for the movie Lion King. And the charity album he made after the death of his friend Princess Diana, including the rewritten Candle In The Wind, which he wrote for her, is the biggest selling album of all time.

Currently Elton is planning another tour with Billy Joel.

"He and I got on so well because we have a mutual respect," said Elton about Joel. "His music is different to mine and he's very much American music. That's why I like it. You can tell he's born and bred in America. Billy is so New York and so American. As a songwriter, he's superb."

Another artist that Elton likes is Eminem. He likes rap music and says Eminem's lyrics are brilliant.

"I don't for one minute think Eminem is homophobic," said Elton. "But what it is, it's exciting, it's inflammatory. That's what the Rolling Stones were about. People say it's very controversial. Rock 'n' roll is supposed to be controversial. Rock 'n' roll isn't the Backstreet boys, 'Nsync. It's getting down and dirty."

Elton John and Billy Joel's tour is scheduled to kick off in January.