Benjamin Svetkey
July 29, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

He wasn’t as well-known as his disciples (Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones), but John Baldry, who died July 21 of a respiratory condition at age 64 in Vancouver, was one of the greatest British blues musicians of the ’60s. He was so highly regarded that in 1967, Reginald Dwight derived half of his new moniker — Elton John — from Baldry’s name. ”It was the true blues,” Stewart once said of his influence. ”Everyone looked up to him.”

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