Rhonda Vincent & Elton John

This post is a contribution from the Queen of Bluegrass herself, Rhonda Vincent. As many of us do as each year comes to a close, she was looking through photos and memories from 2018, and came across this picture of her with Elton John. She shared a remembrance about meeting Elton’s longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, and how that led to her recording one of their songs, and getting to meet Sir Elton in the flesh.

One of the most unlikely fans of bluegrass music is Bernie Taupin. And one of his favorites is Jimmy Martin. Bernie came to a show in 2003, and we’ve been friends ever since. 

In April 2018, we released a song from the Elton John/Bernie Taupin Tribute CD with Dolly Parton, titled Please.  

I was thrilled when Bernie offered the chance to meet Elton, during one of his farewell performances in Nashville.  

I have to say I was blown away with Elton’s performance. My expectation was to hear mostly his popular songs from the radio; but instead, the centerpiece of his entire show is of the mastery of he and his band’s musicianship. He travels with ace musicians, and Elton would take lengthy piano solos. Every song featured amazing instrumentation. Although still in awe from the show, Bernie summoned me to meet him backstage.  

Elton’s dressing room was as unique as he is. Hundreds of tiny toy characters were lined up on the vanity, and twenty feet of costumes were lined up adjacent to it.  

Elton was absolutely sweet and kind, and I was awe struck by the humbleness from someone who has seen and experienced almost everything there is to see for a world performer. 

He immediately said, “I’ve never had a number one bluegrass song before!” Elton seemed thrilled to have a number song in bluegrass music. There were many people waiting to speak with him; but I was thrilled to have a one on one conversation, and to find him so engaging.  

Elton returns to Nashville, as part two of his three year farewell tour. I hope to see him again in 2019. If you haven’t seen his show; it’s one you don’t want to miss.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.