Did Elton John Write a Theme Song for a Sports Team That Folded Before The Song Was Even Released?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Elton John wrote a song for a sports team that was gone before the song was even released.

In 1974, the World Team Tennis league was formed.

Team Tennis was played on a four colored tennis court with teams comprising of at least 2 men and 2 women.

The franchise Philadelphia Freedoms had Billie Jean King on their inaugural squad.

King’s close friend, Elton John, wrote the theme song for the team.

The song, “Philadelphia Freedom,” was released the next year as a single (not as a track on John’s 1975 album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. That would be foolish!)

There was just one little snag.

By the time the song had come out, the team was finished!

You see, after the first season of World Team Tennis, the Philadelphia Freedom merged into the Boston Lobsters!

The song was a big hit, though! It hit #1 on the charts!

Almost thirty years later, the Philadelphia Freedom returned to World Team Tennis!

The current team’s most famous player is James Blake, but a number of other famous players have served on the team, including Venus Williams, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi (seen here with a teammate)…

The legend is..


Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

2 Responses to “Did Elton John Write a Theme Song for a Sports Team That Folded Before The Song Was Even Released?”

  1. “Comprising,” not “comprising of.”

  2. Since you knew this, I’m wondering if you might also be able to confirm something related for me! I seem to remember vividly (although memory may fail or fool me…) seeing Elton at the Philadelphia Spectrum on either Dec 2 or 3 (or 4, some archives say), 1974, and Billie Jean King coming out on stage, whereupon they both started popping tennis balls out into the audience (with their tennis rackets, of course) to the delight of everyone there! He then played “Philadelphia Freedom” introducing it to Philly fans for the 1st time. One good source says it was officially released less than a month later (on New Year’s Day 1975), and that, according to all sources, including Billie Jean King’s own reminiscences, it had already been written and recorded at Caribou Ranch/Studio in June/July of 1974 (when he was also making the CF&theBDC LP…), so the timing of this event was certainly possible. If you can confirm this, I’d be curious what the specific date was, as my friends and I were wondering which night we went… AND if EJ & BJK did the same thing (hitting tennis balls out into the crowd) on the other night(s) in Philadelphia that week. Thanks for whatever light you can shed on this question! -SS Wilmington, DE

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