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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

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donwafer1
re: Recent comment about John's airplane failure. My understandin g is that the airplane ran out of fuel and John tried to switch over to the reserve tank. However, John did not know that the switch was located in the roof overhead section just behind the pilot.and was therefore unable to make the switch over. Apparently, this was John's first flight in this aircraft and he failed to get a sufficient pre-flight instruction. Sad to see such a great artist lost at such an early age.
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diatroninc
70's music was so hate-filled that his songs were almost like a lullaby.
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Love an miss you john.
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John Denver's Folk Music Is So Beautiful To Ones Soul & spirit
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wrgilbreath
John is one of my favorite all time song writers and performers. I had absolutely no problem with his bio. I do recall that his rear engine experimental aircraft actually ran out of fuel high over the Gulf of California. Unlike John to misjudge his fuel so drastically, his being a professional l y trained and experienced pilot. He had apparently been suffering from clinical depression with varying factors involved. Did he allow himself to fall from the sky to eternity? I miss him...
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schultzjm80
FAITH. HILL. MCGRAW. LOVE. YOU
SEY
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I agree . John Denver's music has followed me throughout my life . A true artist in every sense of the word . No one can match his sincerity, talent and gift for music .Thank you Mr. Denver.
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mrubyck
I love your Christmas songs and you're a great artist like a music artist
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I'm sure glad I'm a country boy. Great song.
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Great storyteller
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Drove through WV this afternoon... g r e a t song
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RIP MR. DENVER
HOPE MY BROTHER IS WITH YOU AND ENJOYING YOUR MUSIC, I DO.
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AWESOME !!!!!!!!!
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We miss john Denver so much
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bellair5667
This is the most beautiful song by a beautiful singer. RIP John
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Colorado Ricky mountain high. Wow. Goose bumps. Great singer with awesome lyrics and harmonies
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JD...LONG MAY YOU LIVE!! Poems, prayers, & promises will be sung at my furneral...
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Folk Music by John Denver is So So Great .
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My son went to WVU it is his and our anthem to a great school ,town and people who live there Go Moutaineers
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ppodbielan
Back home again was the s**t! My parents divorced when I was 6 and we had to move off the farm. : (
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shadow_ghost 4 5 7
little concerned with that bio... It says that he was born into an Air Force family in 1943. But the US Air Force wasn't a thing until after the National Security Act of 1947. I'm not a history major or anything... but I do believe that '47 came after '43.
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T, Perhaps Love.
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Love his songs
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I agree that in my mind music today doesn't move me like it used to. Country Roads was one of my first 45's and I played it to death. My first one was Levon (Elton John). John Denver had a wonderful voice and I sure miss him.
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vmarkley
.
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What was the alternate language being sung?
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By far my favorite singer!
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I cry every time I hear this song ,love an miss you john.thank you
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Love this song better then the Beatles because John Denver has this beautiful voice that can really make this song so good. God bless John Denver, one of the greatest.
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Country Roads: I love John Denver
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Rocky Mountain High is by far my favorite of his songs, being raised in Colorado.
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*voice
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His voices still gives me the chills. Especially in Annie's Song. :)
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janetlaughli n
John Denver was so much a part of our lives, me and those who are still my friends for more than 30 yrs. we shared our love of John, attended his concerts faithfully & sang along. One time I managed to record part of his concert
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Listening to John bring me back when music was great
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jeffbklyn
We need more people like John. He may have died, but his music lives on in my heart.
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Love and miss you the good die too young but I,ll see you again.RIP till then.
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But you gotta love him
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That John Denver is full of s**t man!
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COUNTRY ROADS, TAKE ME HOME, TO THE PLACE I BELONG, WEST VIRGINIA #hailwv
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t_heath
I'm Sorry is such a beautiful song......te l l he doesn't miss the woman of his life!!
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Take Me Home Is So So Beautiful Folk Music by John Denver
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Thank god im a country boy YEE YEE
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woobstr112g
The best....
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John was a great Artist in His Time if he were here today people would Love Him For His Folk Singing music God Bless You Mr. John Denver In Heaven .
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Love John Denver
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John the world miss you very much.
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Love Folk Music Too by John Denver
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Country roads
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Amazing , beautiful songs. Rip mr .denver
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