At the age of 15 Elton John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) , with the help of his mother and stepfather, Reginald Dwight became a weekend pianist at a nearby pub, the Northwood Hills Hotel, playing Thursday to Sunday nights for £35 a week and tips. Known simply as "Reggie", he played a range of popular standards, including songs by Jim Reeves and Ray Charles, as well as songs he had written himself. A stint with a short-lived group called the Corvettes rounded out his time. After failing lead vocalist auditions for King Crimson and Gentle Giant, Dwight answered an advertisement in the New Musical Express placed by Ray Williams, then the A&R manager for Liberty Records. At their first meeting, Williams gave Dwight a stack of lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, who had answered the same ad. Dwight wrote music for the lyrics, and then mailed it to Taupin, beginning a partnership that still continues. When the two first met in 1967 they recorded what would become the first Elton John/Bernie Taupin song: "Scarecrow". Six months later Dwight was going by the name "Elton John" in homage to Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.