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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

He touched hearts with his music and his life!
conniemotley
Annie's Song was the song sung at our wedding and we just named our boat Calypso.
The best. Always will be in my book! Some called him geeky, but I don't care. His music was always something more than himself I listened to his I am Human speech. Same stuff still going on. When will things change for the better. SAD.
lmg1103
Wish he was still here and writing songs.
Thank god imma country boy
tembuck2
Sorry !! I Was Responding to danny.trevat h a n 1 4 !! Good Luck Bud ? You'll Need It !!
tembuck2
Country Boy !
Died do'in what He Loved.
Rutan Long Easy !!
Paul Rutan Safest Plane ever designed or ever built !
(Go Figure) ?
Left a Legacy to us all!
And we all miss Him !!
Died with His Boots On !
How many of us will be able to say that ??
He brought me thru my childhood and teenage years. The kind of person i wanted to be and partner with! Luckily i did move to colorado for awhile
prose poetry and beauty
John Denver may be gone, but he is definitely still with us, as well. He helped lead our nation in changing our views of conservation and preservation of our amazing visual natural resources. His, bio, here on Pandora, is quite comprehensiv e and well written, however, it leaves out one of his most memorable songs, one that helped convey his love for this land: Rocky Mountain High. Thank you, John, for your gifts to the world! You are sorely missed!
I was lucky to have personally met him before a Philadelphia concert in 1982. He shook my hand n asked what song i would like to hear him play. I was so starstruck i couldn't answer .my fiancé now husband spoke. JD such a nice man. Wish he was still here! Rip xo- Mary W
When John Denver died I was crushed. He made heavy contribution to this world. He was one of the first enviromental i s t . HE LOVED PEOPLE
I will love this song forever and forever
I have many fond memories of John. His music is very inspirationa l and otherworld like. Over the years we exchanged many letters with each other. He was a great human being and a wonderful treasure to many lives. Let his music and memory live on in our hearts.
Don't read this because it actually works you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life now if you don't stop reading this you will die in two days now that you've started reading don't stop this scary put this on five songs in the next 143 min when your done press f6 and your true love name will pop up in your screen in big letter it actually works
Grin
i dont like him and i wish the chain mail would go away
I love John Denver!:)
I wish he did not die:(
One flying free
Slovakgirl I think I know you.im a kid
a_tellez00
Memories of Tucson Arizona
Country Road
slovakgirl
put this music on and I become a little girl all over again, riding in the family vehicle heading home to our mountains... . a n d the line about how can I leave you again? just makes me think of when we would leave those same mountains. what a memory!
slovakgirl
his music always makes my heart feel a little bit lighter..... w h a t an amazing gift to be given every time I hear him sing/play.
slovakgirl
his music always makes my heart feel a little bit lighter....w h a t an amazing gift to be given every time I hear him sing/play.
My grandma loves john.p.s I am a kid
If I had to pick a favorite of his, it may be this one; may be not. There are so many to choose from....list e n to him on a weekly basis. One of the best ever!
case.kimberl y
He still is my all time favorite country-folk singer and always will be! My one regret is that I never got to see him at a live concert. He contributed so much as an artist and humanitarian . Such a loss when he died at such a young age. At least he died doing one of of things he loved most! He is truly missed!
Just listening to Windsong. What a beautiful song. Olivia Newton John was the perfect choice for back up.
Sorely underrated artist...mis s him
he's the very best - never tire of his songs
What a Great guy !!! I miss him...
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 ?
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