Folk singer John Baldry was born on this day, January 12, 1941, and the world of music thanks him from the bottom of its collective heart.
If “Long John” Baldry — he was 6-feet-7 — had never been born, an unknown pianist named Reggie Dwight might have been doomed.
Back in 1969, keyboard musician Reginald Dwight was engaged to be married to a young woman. There was one problem. Dwight was secretly gay. In those days the closet door was firmly closed.
Male homosexuality was a criminal offense in Britain until 1967 — punishable by forced medication and/or jail time.
As the wedding day approached Dwight was torn up inside and sank into a deep depression. He tried to kill himself.
Enter Dwight’s pals, singer John Baldry, who was also gay, and lyricist Bernie Taupin. They told their friend to admit his true sexuality and call off the wedding.
Dwight told his fiancée, Linda Woodrow, the truth and the wedding was cancelled. Dwight later changed his name to include part of Baldry’s, and the rest, as they say, is history.
🎵 ’Saved in time, thank God my music’s still alive’ 🎵
The “someone” in Elton John’s 1975 hit “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” which was written by Taupin, is Long John Baldry — Sugar Bear in the song.
PIONEER IN BRITISH ROCK SCENE
John Baldry, who died on July 21, 2005, was known as a pioneer in the British blues-rock scene in the 1960s.
He started out as a folk singer, touring Europe with American Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and formed a couple of different bands, one with the afore-mentioned Reg Dwight on keyboard, and another with a guy named Rod Stewart.
Baldry’s one big hit was “Let the Heartaches Begin,” which went to No. 1 on the British charts in 1967. This is one sweet song.
ROD STEWART WAS THERE FOR HIM
When John Baldry died in Vancouver, Canada, on July 21, 2005 at the age of 64, Rod Stewart was at his bedside.
Elton John did not publicly come out as gay until 1988.
Linda Woodrow later moved to America, got married and had three children.