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John Denver

One of the most popular recording artists of the 1970s, country-folk singer/songwriter John Denver's gentle, environmentally conscious music established him among the most beloved entertainers of his era; wholesome and clean-cut, his appeal extended to fans of all ages and backgrounds, and led to parallel careers as both an actor and a humanitarian.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf in Roswell, NM, on December 31, 1943, he was raised in an Air Force family, and grew up in various regions of the southwestern U.S. As a teen, his grandmother presented him with a 1910 Gibson acoustic guitar, and while attending Texas Tech University he began performing local clubs. Adopting the stage surname "Denver" in tribute to the Rocky Mountain area he so cherished, he dropped out of college in 1964 to relocate to Los Angeles; there he joined the Chad Mitchell Trio, a major draw on the hootenanny circuit of the early '60s but in the twilight of their career at the time of Denver's arrival. Over time, however, Denver helped resuscitate the group on the strength of his songwriting skills; signed to Mercury, the Trio recorded a number of tracks, which the label repackaged in 1974 as Beginnings With the Chad Mitchell Trio.

Upon the departure of the last remaining founding member, the Chad Mitchell Trio became known as Denver, Boise and Johnson; the new group proved short-lived, however, when Denver exited in 1969 to pursue a solo career. That same year he recorded his debut LP, Rhymes and Reasons; while not a hit, it contained one of his best-loved compositions, "Leaving on a Jet Plane," an international chart-topper for Peter, Paul & Mary. Still, neither of Denver's follow-up albums, 1970's Whose Garden Was This and Take Me to Tomorrow, launched him as a solo performer; finally, with 1971's Poems, Prayers & Promises, he achieved superstardom, thanks to the million-selling hits "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders." In the years to follow, Denver also scored with "Annie's Song" (penned for his wife) and "Back Home Again," and by 1974 was firmly established as America's best-selling performer; albums like 1975's An Evening With John Denver and Windsong were phenomenally popular, and he continued to top the singles charts with efforts including "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "I'm Sorry." Additionally, his 1974 best-of collection sold over ten million copies worldwide, and remained on the charts for over two years.

At the peak of his success, Denver was everywhere -- the governor of Colorado proclaimed him the state's poet laureate, his label Windsong was responsible for hits like the Starland Vocal Band's mammoth "Afternoon Delight," and he appeared in a number of ratings-grabbing television specials. In 1977, he even moved into film, co-starring with George Burns in the comedy hit Oh, God! During this time, however, he dramatically curtailed his recording output, and after 1977's I Want to Live, issued no new material until 1980's Autograph. The following year, he performed with opera star Placido Domingo, but as the decade progressed, Denver's popularity waned as he turned his focus more toward humanitarian work, focusing primarily on ecological concerns and space exploration; he also toured Communist-led Russia and China, and in 1987 performed in Chernobyl in the wake of that city's nuclear disaster. While maintaining a solid cult following, by the 1990s Denver had largely fallen off the radar, and he made more news for a 1993 drunk-driving arrest than he did for records like 1991's Different Directions. In 1994, he published an autobiography, Take Me Home. Tragedy struck on October 12, 1997, when his experimental aircraft suddenly crashed, killing him instantly. Denver was 53. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Falling Leaves (The Refugees) (Radio Single)

Comments

At first, I wasn't so crazy about Sunshine but over time it's grown on me.
But I always liked Looking for Space.
He was my all rime favorite as I grew up him is dearly missed every day....my favorite songs are Sunshine on my shoulders. ...an a jet aie play ♡♥♡♥♡♥ I LOVE MY SWEET FRIEND AN BEST ARTIST !!!! U GOT ME THROUGH ALOT IN MY YOUGER YEARS TY
Those damned airplanes got DENVER, too. The list of singers who died in airplanes if too long to memorialize here. Those damned airplanes!!!
Experintal airplane? Was he going to fly to the sun? What a loss.
I have great memories of singing this song as a child laying down in the back of our station wagon on family vacations... h o w things have changed. What a great song.
carojoro54
Awesome talent and awesome man!!! I will always remember singing his"take me home country roads" with 300 voices as we crossed the English Channel on a ship from France as we finished a vocal music tour of Europe in summer 1972!!!!!!
nelson.frenc h
Love reading all the comments; it touches me that there are so many 'younger' fans now, when John passed on almost twenty years ago. Wonderful! At 75 now, I am one of the few who can claim a personal friendship during the time when he was most popular. NOT that I was then, or I am now, a 'famous person'. No, I met him through a friend of a friend, . . . really; at a cocktail party in suburban Denver, and was so impressed that he went round the room actually introducing himself to guests! He als
Dont even say it, because it dont get any better
John you have good singing
The very best
I have loved to listen to Johns singing since I was a much younger lad. SunShine... Rocky Mountain still makes me want to go out in the woods and burn one. RIP Brother John<><
Love Johns music! May he rest in peace.
mom4mol2004
Olivia Newton-John sings back-up on Fly Away uncredited. :)
I miss you so much John, please rest in piece knowing you made a huge difference to all
My favorite musician of all time. His music is timeless. No matter what type of day I am having his music is so soothing and peaceful. Really do miss him and his music!
Love all of his music beautiful! John may u rest in peace u were a wonderful artist!
John Denver is the best, Love his music!!!
spell much ?
Isnt Let It Be a Beatles song pure Blasfamie
I'm blessed with a good ear for music so on the piano I learned Sunshine, Looking for Space and perhaps even Annie's Song'. Those songs resonated well with me.
John Denver was a kind man. He made mistakes and he admitted them. His music is wonderful. I had the honor of meeting him years ago. Out of the limelight and in a place where we were just 2 people in the same place due to circumstance . 2 years before that, saw his concert in Hawaii. He was kind and giving and quite humble. It is a shame he died so young. I'm sure there were still more wonderful songs in his psyche. I will always love hearing him sing.
I saw him in concert in NZ, it was great, loved his music, it was and still is great, reminds me of a nicer time, pity his star crashed and burned, heard he knocked his wife about too, still like hearing those old songs.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
bloomfield19 7 6
All his songs are glorious and full of light and beauty! So glad the world had John Denver's music in it!
radtech51602 7
just looking for Annies Song For God s Sake!!
Rest in piece John
...take me home country road...
berryduaneki m 2 0 0 4
HIS SMILE, HIS LAUGH, HIS COMPASSION!! MISS YOU, LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER JOHN!! ~KIM <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
berryduaneki m 2 0 0 4
I 'be been a JOHN DENVER fan for many years now! Of all the awards he received ( which he certainly deserved!) He only received one Grammy for best children's album which was very nice but he was gone by then. He should have gotten alot more Grammys!! He has been and always will be my favorite SINGER SONGWRITER HUMANITARIAN ENVIRONMENTA L I S T ACTOR ever! WE ALL SHOULD LOVE OUR MOTHER EARTH OUR HUMAN RACE OUR WILDLIFE AND MARINE LIFE. WE SURE NEED HIM IN THIS CRAZY WORLD! LOVE AND MISS HIS CONCERTS
Recently saw a play that used his songs to portray his life. Fame was not a friend to him. He lost his heart when he lost Annie
To me he was and all ways will be amazing.a god sent man.
fariborz1500
His majestic voice on country road was soothing for my soul when I was homesick and away from home for the first time .
Many fond memorys listening to JOHN
Also growing up as an Air Force Brat of the Cold War I remember 4-Eyes Deutschendor f for other reasons. My mother use to laugh everytime she heard him and reminded me of when I through a rock at him. But Man, his music touched the heart and he left many of us wanting more - glad I missed.
slapshot95b
Always touches the soul.
My junior high principal was his uncle
Love John Denver.
I always forget what a fantastic voice he had.
When my 1st daughter was born, I knicknamed her Sunshine after this song. I used to sing it to her when she was fussy, colicky, or sick. John Denver is an absolute inspiration to all generations and the many more to come. I miss him.
I was lucky to grow up with his songs via my mother who was in love with him. I was also lucky to see him in 1995 in Topeka with her. My first concert at age 16, and I will never forget the way his voice touches the soul. RIP JD
familyparker
just a beautiful song, love John Denver =)
Catch anything?
Coca Cola Song from the 70's
lucidforce
I was living in Detroit when John became popular, I moved to Denver being inspired by his music. It's been a great time and life. John you are the boss! Thanks for everything.
Camping in Colorado back in 1977 is an experience I will never will forget.His songs made my time there all the more memorable and I became a life long fan.Gone but not forgotten.
He was my north, my south,my east and west
My working day, my Sunday rest
My noon ,my midnight, my thought and my song
I thought he would last forever..... I wad wrong.
one of a few great artist my wife and I both enjoy together.... m a n I miss him. I love to listen to his music especially in the fall
florencebair d
His last words were. I should have checked the fuel!
I was only 18 yrs & I never had a chance to see him at the concerts he died to soon in the 70th he was the best Singer he died in a plane accident that's very sad that his not with as no more r.p.t.
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