Elton John’s Mesmerizing Performance Of Tiny Dancer in 1971

Elton John 1971

Photo” By http://www.flickr.com/photos/yabosid/ [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In 1971, Elton John performed the song “Tiny Dancer,” on the BBC Television show The Old Grey Whistle Test. Elton sat at the grand piano and sang the song with no other accompanying musicians. The true test of any written song is how well it sounds performed simply just on a piano. The true test of a performer’s talent is their ability to sing and play solo without any accompaniment, special effects, or any other modern-day devices to enhance the sound or correct the pitch. Watching Elton John perform “Tiny Dancer,” in 1971 is an exercise in understanding the concepts of real musicianship. You don’t get to that level of performance without years of practice and dedication. There was no buying computer composer software and auto-tune back in the 1970s.

However, what computers have done for music fans is allow us to research the archives of such brilliant shows like The Old Great Whistle Test, and enjoy performances that were lost for years. It also enables young people to see the differences in performers and the importance of musicianship and real composition. Yes, there are still new artists developing and recording in 2016 that are inspired by performers like Elton John. But those artists are often overshadowed by the computer generated, auto tuned, color-by-number music that dominates modern radio and video in the 2000s.

The Old Grey Whistle Test was a British television music show. The show aired on BBC2. The Old Grey Whistle Test ran for a long time in Britain. The show aired from 1971 to 1988. So many artists from the classic rock era performed on The Old Grey Whistle Test television show. Artists such as Billy Joel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Heart, The Clash, New York Dolls and Judas Priest all performed on the show. The shown was named one of the top 100 British television shows of all time by the British Film Institute.

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