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Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver
Denver
began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s.[3] Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists.[4] By 1974, he was firmly established as one of America's best-selling performers, and AllMusic
AllMusic
has described Denver as "among the most beloved entertainers of his era".[5] Denver
Denver
recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total sales of over 33 million records worldwide.[6] He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, his disdain for city life, his enthusiasm for music, and his relationship trials. Denver's music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning him twelve gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Annie's Song", "Rocky Mountain High", "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", and "Sunshine on My Shoulders". Denver
Denver
appeared in several films and television specials during the 1970s and 1980s. He continued to record in the 1990s, also focusing on environmental issues by lending vocal support to space exploration and testifying in front of Congress in protest against censorship in music. He lived in Aspen, Colorado, for much of his life and was known for his love of Colorado, which he sang about numerous times. In 1974 Denver
Denver
was named poet laureate of the state. The Colorado
Colorado
state legislature also adopted "Rocky Mountain High" as one of its two state songs in 2007. Denver, who was an avid pilot, died at the age of 53 flying his experimental Rutan Long-EZ
Rutan Long-EZ
canard aircraft in a single-fatality crash.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early years 1.2 Career peak 1.3 Political activism 1.4 Later years and humanitarian work 1.5 Personal life 1.6 Death

2 Posthumous recognition 3 Related artists 4 Awards and recognition

4.1 Other recognition

5 Discography 6 Filmography 7 Selected writings 8 References 9 Sources 10 External links

Biography[edit] Early years[edit] Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. was born in Roswell, New Mexico, to Captain Henry John Deutschendorf Sr., USAAF[7] a United States Army Air Forces pilot then stationed at Roswell AAF, and his wife, Erma Louise (Swope). Years later, as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Deutschendorf would set three speed records in the B-58 Hustler bomber and earn a place in the Air Force Hall of Fame.[8] Henry Sr., of German Mennonite
Mennonite
ancestry,[9] met and married his "Oklahoma Sweetheart".[10] Denver's Irish Catholic and German maternal grandmother was the one who imbued Denver
Denver
with his love of music. In his autobiography, Take Me Home, Denver
Denver
described his life as the eldest son of a family shaped by a stern father who could not show his love for his children. He is also the nephew of singer Dave Deutschendorf of The New Christy Minstrels. Because Denver's father was in the military and his family moved often, it was difficult for him to make friends and fit in with other children of his own age. Constantly being the new kid was troubling for the introverted Denver, and he grew up always feeling as though he should be somewhere else, but never knowing where that "right" place was.[11] While the family was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB
Davis-Monthan AFB
in Tucson, Arizona, Denver
Denver
was a member of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus for two years. Denver
Denver
was happy living in Tucson, but his father was then transferred to Maxwell AFB
Maxwell AFB
in Montgomery, Alabama, then in the midst of the Montgomery boycotts. The family later moved to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas, where Denver
Denver
graduated from Arlington Heights High School. Fort Worth was a distressing experience for Denver
Denver
and in his third year of high school, he drove his father's car to California
California
to visit family friends and begin his music career but his father flew to California
California
in a friend's jet and Denver
Denver
reluctantly returned to complete his schooling.[12] At the age of 11, Denver
Denver
received an acoustic guitar from his grandmother.[13] He learned to play well enough to perform at local clubs by the time he was in college. He adopted the surname "Denver" after the capital of his favorite state, Colorado. He decided to change his name when Randy Sparks, founder of The New Christy Minstrels, suggested that "Deutschendorf" wouldn't fit comfortably on a marquee.[14] Denver
Denver
studied Architecture at Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University
in Lubbock, and sang in a folk-music group called "The Alpine Trio" while pursuing architectural studies.[15][16][17] He was also a member of Delta Tau Delta
Delta Tau Delta
Fraternity. Denver
Denver
dropped out of the Texas
Texas
Tech School of Engineering in 1963,[13] and moved to Los Angeles, where he sang in folk clubs. In 1965, Denver
Denver
joined The Mitchell Trio, replacing founder Chad Mitchell, which later became "Denver, Boise, and Johnson" (John Denver, David Boise, and Michael Johnson).[13] In 1969, Denver
Denver
abandoned the band life to pursue a solo career and released his first album for RCA Records: Rhymes & Reasons. Two years prior, Denver
Denver
had made a self-produced demo recording of some of the songs he played at his concerts. He included in the demo a song he had written called "Babe I Hate to Go", later renamed "Leaving on a Jet Plane". Denver
Denver
made several copies and gave them out as presents for Christmas.[18] Producer Milt Okun, who produced records for the Mitchell Trio and the high-profile folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, had become Denver's producer as well. Okun brought the unreleased "Jet Plane" song to Peter, Paul and Mary. Their version of the song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[19] (Ironically, this was the only single to hit number one for the group.) Denver's composition also made it to the U.K. No. 2 spot in February 1970, having also made No. 1 on the U.S. Cash Box chart in December 1969. Although RCA did not actively promote Rhymes & Reasons with a tour, Denver
Denver
himself embarked on an impromptu supporting tour throughout the Midwest, stopping at towns and cities as the fashion took him, offering to play free concerts at local venues. When he was successful in persuading a school, college, American Legion hall, or local coffee-house to let him play, he would spend a day or so distributing posters in the town and could usually be counted upon to show up at the local radio station, guitar in hand, offering himself for an interview.[citation needed] With his foot in the door as author of "Leaving on a Jet Plane", he was often successful in gaining some valuable promotional airtime, usually featuring one or two songs performed live. Some venues would let him play for the "door"; others restricted him to selling copies of the album at intermission and after the show. After several months of this constant low-key touring schedule, however, he had sold enough albums to persuade RCA to take a chance on extending his recording contract. He had also built a sizable and solid fan base, many of whom remained loyal throughout his career.[13] Denver
Denver
recorded two more albums in 1970, Take Me to Tomorrow
Take Me to Tomorrow
and Whose Garden Was This, including a mix of songs he had written and cover versions of other artists' compositions. Career peak[edit] His next album, Poems, Prayers, and Promises
Poems, Prayers, and Promises
(released in 1971), was a breakthrough for him in the U.S., thanks in part to the single "Take Me Home, Country Roads", which went to number 2 on the Billboard charts despite the first pressings of the track being distorted. Its success was due in part to the efforts of his new manager, future Hollywood
Hollywood
producer Jerry Weintraub, who signed Denver
Denver
in 1970. Weintraub insisted on a re-issue of the track and began a radio-airplay campaign that started in Denver, Colorado. Denver's career flourished from then on, and he had a series of hits over the next four years. In 1972, Denver
Denver
scored his first Top Ten album with Rocky Mountain High, with its title track reaching the Top Ten in 1973.[20] Between 1974 and 1975, Denver
Denver
experienced an impressive chart dominance, with a string of four No. 1 songs ("Sunshine on My Shoulders", "Annie's Song", "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", and "I'm Sorry") and three No. 1 albums (John Denver's Greatest Hits, Back Home Again, and Windsong).[21] In the 1970s, Denver's onstage appearance included long blond hair and "granny" glasses. His embroidered shirts emblazoned with images commonly associated with the American West were created by the designer & appliqué artist Anna Zapp. His manager, Jerry Weintraub, insisted on a significant number of television appearances, including a series of half-hour shows in the United Kingdom, despite Denver's protests at the time, "I've had no success in Britain... I mean none."[22] Weintraub explained to Maureen Orth of Newsweek
Newsweek
in December 1976, "I knew the critics would never go for John. I had to get him to the people." After appearing as a guest on many shows, Denver
Denver
went on to host his own variety/music specials, including several concerts from Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver. His seasonal special, Rocky Mountain Christmas, was watched by more than 60 million people and was the highest-rated show for the ABC network at that time.[citation needed]

Denver's live concert television special An Evening With John Denver (1975)

His live concert special, An Evening with John Denver, won the 1974–1975 Emmy for Outstanding Special, Comedy-Variety or Music.[23] When Denver
Denver
ended his business relationship[when?] because of Weintraub's focus on other projects, Weintraub threw Denver
Denver
out of his office and accused him of Nazism. Denver
Denver
would later tell Arthur Tobier, when the latter transcribed his autobiography,[citation needed] "I'd bend my principles to support something he wanted of me. And of course, every time you bend your principles – whether because you don't want to worry about it, or because you're afraid to stand up for fear of what you might lose – you sell your soul to the devil."[24] Denver
Denver
was also a guest star on The Muppet Show, the beginning of the lifelong friendship between Denver
Denver
and Jim Henson
Jim Henson
that spawned two television specials with The Muppets. He also tried acting, appearing in The Colorado
Colorado
Cattle Caper episode of the McCloud television movie on February 24, 1974, and starring in the 1977 film Oh, God!
Oh, God!
opposite George Burns. Denver
Denver
hosted the Grammy
Grammy
Awards five times in the 1970s and 1980s, and guest-hosted The Tonight Show on multiple occasions.[25] In 1975, Denver
Denver
was awarded the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award. At the ceremony, the outgoing Entertainer of the Year, Charlie Rich, presented the award to his successor, but in protest of what he considered the inappropriateness of Denver's selection, Rich set fire to the envelope containing the official notification of the award.[26] However, Denver's music was defended by country singer Kathy Mattea, who told Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly, "A lot of people write him off as lightweight, but he articulated a kind of optimism, and he brought acoustic music to the forefront, bridging folk, pop, and country in a fresh way... People forget how huge he was worldwide." In 1977, Denver
Denver
co-founded The Hunger Project
The Hunger Project
with Werner Erhard
Werner Erhard
and Robert W. Fuller. He served for many years and supported the organization until his death. Denver
Denver
was also appointed by President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
to serve on the President's Commission on World Hunger, writing the song "I Want to Live" as its theme song. In 1979, Denver performed "Rhymes & Reasons" at the Music for UNICEF
UNICEF
Concert. Royalties from the concert performances were donated to UNICEF.[27] His father taught him to fly in the mid-1970s, which led to a reconciliation between father and son.[15] In 1980, Denver
Denver
and his father, Lt. Col. "Dutch" Deutschendorf, co-hosted an award-winning television special, "The Higher We Fly: the History of Flight".[10] It won the Osborn Award from the Aviation/Space Writers’ Association, and was honored by the Houston Film Festival.[10] Political activism[edit] Denver
Denver
became outspoken in politics in the mid-1970s. He expressed his ecologic interests in the epic 1975 song "Calypso," which is an ode to the exploration ship and team of environmental activist Jacques Cousteau. In 1976, he campaigned for Jimmy Carter, who became a close friend and ally. Denver
Denver
was a supporter of the Democratic Party and of a number of charitable causes for the environmental movement, the homeless, the poor, the hungry, and the African AIDS crisis. He founded the charitable Windstar Foundation in 1976, to promote sustainable living. His dismay at the Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl disaster
led to precedent-setting concerts in parts of communist Asia and Europe.[15] During the 1980s, Denver
Denver
was critical of the Reagan administration, but he remained active in his campaign against hunger, for which Reagan awarded Denver
Denver
the Presidential World Without Hunger
Hunger
Award in 1985.[15] Denver's criticism of the conservative politics of the 1980s was expressed in his autobiographical folk-rock ballad "Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For)." Denver
Denver
was also critical of the Republican-dominated Congress and American Conservatism of the 1990s[citation needed]. He denounced the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a corrupt political machine that could buy off politicians[citation needed], and in an open letter to the media, he wrote that he opposed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Denver
Denver
had battled to expand the refuge in the 1980s, and he praised President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
for his opposition to the proposed drilling. The letter, which he wrote in the midst of the 1996 presidential election, was one of the last he ever wrote.[15] Denver was also on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society
National Space Society
for many years. Later years and humanitarian work[edit] Denver
Denver
had a few more U.S. Top 30 hits as the 1970s ended, but nothing to match his earlier success. He began to focus more on humanitarian and sustainability causes, focusing extensively on conservation projects. He made public expression of his acquaintances and friendships with ecological design researchers such as Richard Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller
(about whom he wrote and composed "What One Man Can Do") and Amory Lovins, from whom he said he learned much. He also founded two environmental groups; the Windstar Foundation and Plant-It 2020 (originally Plant-It 2000). Denver
Denver
had a keen interest in solutions to world hunger. He visited Africa during the 1980s to witness first-hand the suffering caused by starvation and to work with African leaders toward solutions. In 1983 and 1984, Denver
Denver
hosted the annual Grammy
Grammy
Awards. In the 1983 finale, Denver
Denver
was joined on stage by folk music legend Joan Baez
Joan Baez
with whom he led an all-star version of "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Let The Sunshine In," joined by such diverse musical icons as Jennifer Warnes, Donna Summer, and Rick James. In 1984, Roone Arledge, president of ABC Sports, asked Denver
Denver
to compose and sing the theme song for the 1984 Winter Olympics
1984 Winter Olympics
in Sarajevo. Denver
Denver
worked as both a performer and a skiing commentator. (Skiing was another avocation of Denver's.) He had written and composed "The Gold and Beyond," and he sang it for the Olympic Games athletes, as well as local venues including many schools.[10] In 1985, Denver
Denver
asked to participate in the singing of "We Are the World," but he was turned down. According to Ken Kragen (who helped to produce the song), the reason Denver
Denver
was turned down was that many people felt his image would hurt the credibility of the song as a pop-rock anthem. "I didn't agree" with this assessment, Kragen said, but reluctantly turned Denver
Denver
down anyway.[28] For Earth Day 1990, Denver
Denver
was the on-camera narrator of a well-received environmental TV program, In Partnership With Earth, with then–EPA Administrator William K. Reilly. Due to his love of flying, he was attracted to NASA
NASA
and became dedicated to America's work in outer space. He conscientiously worked to help bring into being the "Citizens in Space" program. Denver received the NASA
NASA
Public Service Medal, in 1985 for "helping to increase awareness of space exploration by the peoples of the world," an award usually restricted to spaceflight engineers and designers. Also, in 1985, Denver
Denver
passed NASA's rigorous physical exam and was in line for a space flight, a finalist for the first citizen's trip on the Space Shuttle in 1986, but he was not chosen. After the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster with teacher Christa McAuliffe
Christa McAuliffe
aboard, Denver
Denver
dedicated his song "Flying for Me" to all astronauts, and he continued to support NASA.[10] Denver
Denver
testified before the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on the topic of censorship during a Parents Music Resource Center
Parents Music Resource Center
hearing in 1985. Denver
Denver
also toured Russia in 1985. His 11 Soviet Union
Soviet Union
concerts were the first by any American artist in more than 10 years, and they marked a very important cultural exchange that culminated in an agreement to allow other western artists to perform there.[29] He returned two years later to perform at a benefit concert for the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. In October 1992, Denver
Denver
undertook a multiple-city tour of the People's Republic of China. He also released a greatest-hits CD, Homegrown, to raise money for homeless charities. In 1994, he published his autobiography, Take Me Home, in which he candidly spoke of his cannabis, LSD, and cocaine use, his marital infidelities, and his history of domestic violence.[30][31] In 1996, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In early 1997, Denver
Denver
filmed an episode for the Nature series, centering on the natural wonders that inspired many of his best-loved songs. His last song, "Yellowstone, Coming Home," which he composed while rafting along the Colorado
Colorado
River with his son and young daughter, is included.[32] In the summer of 1997, shortly before his death, Denver
Denver
recorded a children's train album for Sony Wonder, titled All Aboard! This was produced by long-time friend Roger Nichols.[33] The album consisted of old-fashioned swing, big band, folk, bluegrass, and gospel styles of music woven into a theme of railroad songs. This album won a posthumous Best Musical Album For Children Grammy
Grammy
for Denver, which was his only Grammy.[34] Personal life[edit] Denver's first marriage was to Anne Martell of St. Peter, Minnesota. She was the subject of his hit "Annie's Song," which he composed in only ten minutes as he sat on a Colorado
Colorado
ski lift after the couple had an argument.[15] They lived in Edina, Minnesota, from 1968 to 1971. Following the success of "Rocky Mountain High," inspired by a camping trip with Anne and some friends, Denver
Denver
purchased a residence in Aspen, Colorado. He lived in Aspen continuously until his death.[35] The Denvers adopted a boy, Zachary John, and girl, Anna Kate, who Denver
Denver
would say were "meant to be" theirs.[10] Denver
Denver
once said, "I'll tell you the best thing about me. I'm some guy's dad; I'm some little gal's dad. When I die, Zachary John and Anna Kate's father, boy, that's enough for me to be remembered by. That's more than enough." [36] Zachary, who is African-American, was the subject of "A Baby Just Like You," a song that included the line "Merry Christmas, little Zachary" and which he wrote for Frank Sinatra. Denver
Denver
and Martell divorced in 1982. In a 1983 interview shown in the documentary John Denver: Country Boy (2013), Denver
Denver
said that career demands drove them apart; Anne said that they were too young and immature to deal with John's sudden mega-success. The ensuing property settlement caused Denver
Denver
to become so enraged, he nearly choked Martell, then used a chainsaw to cut their marital bed in half.[15][30][31][37] Denver
Denver
married Australian actress Cassandra Delaney[38] in 1988, after a two-year courtship. Settling at Denver's home in Aspen, the couple had a daughter, Jesse Belle. Denver
Denver
and Delaney separated in 1991 and divorced in 1993.[15] Of his second marriage, Denver
Denver
would later recall that "before our short-lived marriage ended in divorce, she managed to make a fool of me from one end of the valley to the other".[31] In 1993, Denver
Denver
pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge, and was placed on probation.[37] In August 1994, while still on probation, he was again charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence after crashing his Porsche into a tree in Aspen.[37] Though a jury trial in July 1997 resulted in a hung jury on the second DUI charge, prosecutors later decided to reopen the case, which was closed only after Denver's accidental death in October 1997.[37][39] In 1996, the FAA decided that Denver
Denver
could no longer fly a plane, due to medical disqualification for failure to abstain from alcohol, a condition that the FAA had imposed in October 1995 after his prior drunk-driving conviction.[40][41] Denver's talent extended beyond music. Artistic interests included painting, but because of his limiting schedule he pursued photography, saying once "photography is a way to communicate a feeling". Denver was also an avid skier and golfer, but his principal interest was in flying. His love of flying was second only to his love of music.[42] In 1974, he bought a Learjet
Learjet
to fly himself to concerts. He was a collector of vintage biplanes, and owned a Christen Eagle aerobatic plane, two Cessna 210
Cessna 210
airplanes, and in 1997, an experimental, amateur-built Rutan Long-EZ.[10][41][42] Death[edit]

A Long-EZ two-seater canard plane

Denver
Denver
was killed on October 12, 1997 when his experimental Rutan Long-EZ plane, aircraft registration number N555JD, crashed into Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay
near Pacific Grove, California, while making a series of touch-and-go landings at the nearby Monterey Peninsula Airport.[43] The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) accident ID is LAX98FA008.[44] Denver
Denver
was the only occupant of the aircraft. Identification was not possible using dental records; only his fingerprints confirmed that the pilot was Denver.[45][46] A pilot with over 2,700 hours of experience, Denver
Denver
had pilot ratings for single-engine land and sea, multi-engine land, glider, and instrument. He also held a type rating in his Learjet. He had recently purchased the Long-EZ aircraft, made by someone else from a kit,[47] and had taken a half-hour checkout flight with the aircraft the day before the accident.[48][49] Denver
Denver
was not legally permitted to fly at the time of the accident. In previous years, Denver
Denver
had a number of drunk driving arrests.[50] In 1996, nearly a year before the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration learned that Denver
Denver
had failed to maintain sobriety by failing to refrain entirely from alcohol, and was compelled to revoke his medical certification.[40][41] However, the accident was not influenced by alcohol use, as an autopsy found no sign of alcohol or other drugs in Denver's body.[51][43] Post-accident investigation by the NTSB showed that the leading cause of the accident was Denver's inability to switch fuel tanks during flight. The quantity of fuel had been depleted during the plane's transfer to Monterey and in several brief practice takeoffs and landings Denver
Denver
performed at the airport immediately prior to the final flight. His newly purchased experimental Rutan had an unusual fuel selector valve handle configuration. Intended by the plane's designer to be located between the pilot's legs, the builder instead had placed the fuel selector behind the pilot's left shoulder, with the fuel gauge also behind the pilot's seat and not visible to the person at the controls.[40][41] An NTSB interview with the aircraft mechanic servicing Denver's plane revealed that he and Denver
Denver
had discussed the inaccessibility of the cockpit fuel selector valve handle and its resistance to being turned.[40][41] Before the flight, Denver
Denver
and the mechanic had attempted to extend the reach of the handle, using a pair of Vise-Grip pliers. However, this did not solve the problem, and the pilot still could not reach the handle while strapped into his seat. NTSB investigators' post-accident investigation showed that because of the positioning of the fuel selector valves, switching fuel tanks required the pilot to turn his body 90 degrees to reach the valve. This created a natural tendency to extend one's right foot against the right rudder pedal to support oneself while turning in the seat, which caused the aircraft to yaw (Nose right) and pitch up.[40][41] The mechanic said he had remarked to Denver
Denver
that the fuel sight gauges were visible only to the rear cockpit occupant. Denver
Denver
had asked how much fuel was shown. He told Denver
Denver
there was "less than half in the right tank and less than a quarter in the left tank". He then provided Denver
Denver
with an inspection mirror so he could look over his shoulder at the fuel gauges. The mirror was later recovered in the wreckage. Denver
Denver
said he would use the autopilot inflight to hold the airplane level while he turned the fuel selector valve. He turned down an offer to refuel, saying he would be flying for about an hour.[40][41] The NTSB interviewed 20 witnesses of Denver's last flight. Six of them had seen the plane crash into the ocean near Point Pinos.[40][41] Four witnesses stated the aircraft was originally heading west. Five said they saw the plane in a steep bank, with four of these saying the bank was to the right (north). Twelve witnesses described seeing the aircraft in a steep nose-down descent. Witnesses estimated the plane's altitude to be between 350 and 500 feet (110 and 150 m) when heading toward the shoreline. Eight said that they heard a "pop" or "backfire", accompanied by a reduction in the engine noise level just before the airplane crashed into the sea. In addition to Denver's failing to refuel and his subsequent loss of control, while attempting to switch fuel tanks, the NTSB determined there were other key factors that led to the accident. Foremost among these was Denver's inadequate transition training on this type of aircraft, and the builder's decision to locate the fuel selector handle in a difficult-to-reach location.[40][41] The board issued recommendations on the requirement and enforcement of mandatory training standards for pilots operating experimental aircraft. It also emphasized the importance of mandatory ease of access to all controls, including fuel selectors and fuel gauges, in all aircraft. Posthumous recognition[edit]

The plaque marking the location of Denver's plane crash in Pacific Grove, California

Upon announcement of Denver's death, Colorado
Colorado
governor Roy Romer ordered all state flags to be lowered to half-staff in his honor. Funeral services were held at Faith Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Colorado, on October 17, 1997, officiated by Pastor Les Felker, a retired Air Force chaplain, following which Denver's remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Rocky Mountains. Further tributes were made at the following Grammys and Country Music Association Awards. In 2000, CBS presented the television movie Take Me Home: The John Denver
Denver
Story loosely based on his memoirs, starring Chad Lowe. The New York Post observed, "An overachiever like John Denver
Denver
couldn't have been this boring."[52] On September 23, 2007, nearly ten years after Denver's death, his brother Ron witnessed the dedication of a plaque placed near the crash site in Pacific Grove, California, commemorating the singer. Denver's music remains popular around the world. Previously unreleased and unnoticed recordings are now sought-after collectibles in pop, folk and country genres.[citation needed] Also in demand are copies of Denver's many television appearances, especially his one-hour specials from the 1970s and his six-part series for Britain's BBC, The John Denver
Denver
Show. Despite strong interest in these programs, no sign of "official" release is evident for the vast majority of this material.[citation needed] An anthology musical featuring Denver's music, Back Home Again: A John Denver
Denver
Holiday, premiered at the Rubicon Theatre Company in November 2006.[53] On March 12, 2007, the Colorado
Colorado
Senate passed a resolution to make Denver's trademark 1972 hit "Rocky Mountain High" one of the state's two official state songs, sharing duties with its predecessor, "Where the Columbines Grow".[54] The resolution passed 50–11 in the House, defeating an objection by Rep. Debbie Stafford (R-Aurora) that the song reflected drug use, most specifically the line, "friends around the campfire and everybody's high". Sen. Bob Hagedorn, the Aurora Democrat who sponsored the proposal, defended the song as nothing to do with drugs, but everything to do with sharing with friends the euphoria of experiencing the beauty of Colorado's mountain vistas. Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) said that "John Denver
Denver
to me is an icon of what Colorado
Colorado
is."[55]

John Denver
Denver
Memorial stone with the lyrics to "Rocky Mountain High" in Rio Grande Park, Aspen, Colorado[56]

On September 24, 2007, the California
California
Friends of John Denver
Denver
and The Windstar Foundation unveiled a bronze plaque near the spot where his plane went down near Pacific Grove. The site had been marked by a driftwood log carved (by Jeffrey Pine of Colorado) with the singer's name, but fears that the memorial could be washed out to sea sparked the campaign for a more permanent memorial. Initially, the Pacific Grove Council denied permission for the memorial, fearing the place would attract ghoulish curiosity from extreme fans. Permission was finally granted in 1999, but the project was put on hold at the request of the singer's family. Eventually, over 100 friends and family attended the dedication of the plaque, which features a bas-relief of the singer's face and lines from his song "Windsong": "So welcome the wind and the wisdom she offers. Follow her summons when she calls again."[57] To mark the 10th anniversary of Denver's death, his family released a set of previously unreleased recordings of Denver's 1985 concert performances in the Soviet Union. This two-CD set, John Denver
Denver
– Live in the USSR, was produced by Denver's friend Roger Nichols, and released by AAO Music. These digital recordings were made during 11 concerts and then rediscovered in 2002. Included in this set is a previously unpublished rendition of "Annie's Song" in Russian. The collection was released November 6, 2007.[29] On October 13, 2009, a DVD box set of previously unreleased concerts recorded throughout Denver's career was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment. Around the World Live is a 5-disc DVD set featuring three complete live performances with full band from Australia in 1977, Japan in 1981, and England in 1986. These are complemented by a solo acoustic performance from Japan in 1984, and performances at Farm Aid from 1985, 1987, and 1990. The final disc has two-hour-long documentaries made by Denver. On April 21, 2011, Denver
Denver
became the first inductee into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. A benefit concert was held at Broomfield's 1stBank Center and hosted by Olivia Newton-John. Other performers participating in the event included Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Ann Womack, and John Oates. Both of his ex-wives were in attendance, and the award was presented to his three children. The John Denver
Denver
"Spirit" statue is a 2002 bronze sculpture statue by artist Sue DiCicco
Sue DiCicco
that was financed by Denver's fans. It is located at the Colorado
Colorado
Music Hall of Fame at Red Rocks. On March 7, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature approved a resolution to make "Take Me Home, Country Roads" the official state song of West Virginia. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the resolution into law on March 8.[58] Denver
Denver
thus shares the distinction with the father of American music, Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
as the composer of two state songs.[59] On October 24, 2014, Denver
Denver
was awarded a star on the Hollywood
Hollywood
Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, which was accepted by his children Zachary and Jesse. His star is located at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard.[60] Related artists[edit] Main article: The John Denver
Denver
Band Denver
Denver
began his recording career with a group that had started as the Chad Mitchell Trio; his distinctive voice can be heard where he sings solo on Violets of Dawn, among other songs. He recorded three albums with the Mitchell Trio, replacing Chad Mitchell himself as high tenor.[13] The group Denver, Boise, and Johnson, which had evolved from the Mitchell Trio, released a single before he moved on to a solo career.[14] Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, credited as co-writers of Denver's song "Take Me Home, Country Roads", were close friends of Denver
Denver
and his family, appearing as singers and songwriters on many of Denver's albums until they formed the Starland Vocal Band
Starland Vocal Band
in 1976. The band's albums were released on Denver's Windsong
Windsong
Records (later known as Windstar Records) label. Denver's solo recording contract resulted in part from the recording by Peter, Paul, and Mary of his song "Leaving on a Jet Plane", which became the sole number-1 hit single for the group.[13] Denver
Denver
recorded songs by Tom Paxton, Eric Andersen, John Prine, David Mallett, and many others in the folk scene. His record company, Windstar, is still an active record label today.[citation needed] Country singer John Berry considers Denver
Denver
the greatest influence on his own music and has recorded Denver's hit "Annie's Song" with the original arrangement. Olivia Newton-John, an Australian singer whose across-the-board appeal to pop, MOR, and country audiences in the mid-1970s was similar to Denver's, lent her distinctive backup vocals to Denver's 1975 single "Fly Away"; she performed the song with Denver
Denver
on his 1975 Rocky Mountain Christmas special. She also covered his "Take Me Home, Country Roads", and had a hit in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(#15 in 1973) and Japan (#6 in a belated 1976 release) with it.[citation needed] In 1976, Denver
Denver
appeared as a guest star, along with Olivia Newton-John, who made a cameo appearance, on The Carpenters
The Carpenters
Very First Special, a one-hour TV special broadcast on the ABC television network. A highlight of the program was John singing a duet with Karen Carpenter of a medley of "Comin' Thro' the Rye" and "Good Vibrations", although the medley was never released commercially as a single or on an album.[citation needed] Awards and recognition[edit] Academy of Country Music

1974 Album of the Year for Back Home Again

American Music Awards

1975 Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist 1976 Favorite Country Album for Back Home Again 1976 Favorite Country Male Artist

Country Music Association

1975 Entertainer of the Year 1975 Song of the Year for "Back Home Again"

Emmy Awards

1975 Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special
Special
for An Evening With John Denver[10]

Grammy
Grammy
Awards

1997 Best Musical Album For Children for All Aboard! 1998 Grammy
Grammy
Hall of Fame Award for "Take Me Home, Country Roads"

Songwriters Hall of Fame

Inducted in 1996

Other recognition[edit]

Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate
of Colorado, 1977[10] People's Choice Awards, 1977[10] Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, 1979[10] Carl Sandburg's People's Poet Award, 1982[citation needed] NASA
NASA
Public Service Medal, 1985[citation needed] Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer
Music Award, 1993[citation needed] Freedoms Foundation
Freedoms Foundation
Award, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1980[61]

Discography[edit] Main article: John Denver
Denver
discography

Studio albums

John Denver
Denver
Sings (1966) Rhymes & Reasons (1969) Take Me to Tomorrow
Take Me to Tomorrow
(1970) Whose Garden Was This
Whose Garden Was This
(1970) Poems, Prayers & Promises (1971) Aerie (1971) Rocky Mountain High
Rocky Mountain High
(1972) Farewell Andromeda
Farewell Andromeda
(1973) Back Home Again (1974) Windsong
Windsong
(1975) Rocky Mountain Christmas
Rocky Mountain Christmas
(1975) Spirit (1976) I Want to Live (1977)

John Denver
Denver
(1979) Autograph (1980) Some Days Are Diamonds (1981) Seasons of the Heart (1982) It's About Time (1983) Dreamland Express
Dreamland Express
(1985) One World (1986) Higher Ground (1988) Earth Songs
Earth Songs
(1990) The Flower That Shattered the Stone
The Flower That Shattered the Stone
(1990) Different Directions (1991) All Aboard! (1997)

Filmography[edit] Main article: John Denver
Denver
filmography Selected writings[edit]

The Children and The Flowers (1979) ISBN 0-914676-28-8 Alfie the Christmas Tree (1990) ISBN 0-945051-25-5 Take Me Home: An Autobiography (1994) ISBN 0-517-59537-0 Poems, Prayers and Promises: The Art and Soul of John Denver
Denver
(2004) ISBN 1-57560-617-8

References[edit]

^ Sterling, Christopher H.; O'Dell, Cary (April 12, 2010). "The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio". Routledge – via Google Books.  ^ "The Music of John Denver
Denver
- John Denver
Denver
- Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.  ^ "John Denver
Denver
Biography - life, family, children, name, death, wife, young, son, born". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ Maphis, Susan. "10 Best Selling Artists of the 1970s". mademan.com. Retrieved May 16, 2012.  ^ Ankeny, Jason. "John Denver
Denver
Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 June 2014.  ^ "Upcoming Events John Denver, A Rocky Mountain High
Rocky Mountain High
Concert". The Florida Theatre. 2013-11-19. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ "''Ancestry of John Denver'' compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner". Wargs.Com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ Video of Denver's father flying a B-58. on YouTube ^ Plett, Rowena. "John Denver
Denver
Had Mennonite
Mennonite
Ancestors." Hillsboro Star-Journal. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2017-09-19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k [1] Archived June 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "John Denver". The Daily Telegraph. London. October 14, 1997.  ^ "FindArticles biodata". Findarticles.com. 2002. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ a b c d e f "Biography". john denver. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ a b "The New Christy Minstrels". Thenewchristyminstrels.com. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h "John Denver
Denver
Biography – life, family, children, name, death, wife, young, son, born, college, contract, marriage, year, Raised in Military Family". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ University, Texas
Texas
Tech (1962). "La Ventana, vol. 037".  ^ University, Texas
Texas
Tech (1964). "La Ventana, vol. 039".  ^ [2] Archived December 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Ruhlman, William (April 12, 1996). "Beginnings". Goldmine Magazine. Retrieved January 24, 2010.  ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ "Artist Biography – John Denver". Countrypolitan.com. October 12, 1997. Archived from the original on February 21, 2001. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ Rocky Mountain Wonderboy, James M. Martin, Pinnacle Books 1977 ^ "Private Tutor". Infoplease.com. Retrieved August 17, 2010.  ^ Take Me Home: An Autobiography, John Denver
Denver
and Arthur Tobier, Harmony Books, 1994. ^ "John Denver: Biography from". Answers.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ "The Greatest : Features". CMT.com. April 3, 1992. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ thepiperchile. "ABBA on TV – Music for UNICEF
UNICEF
– A Gift of Song Concert". Abbaontv.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ "Harry Chapin website". Harrychapin.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ a b "'' Windstar Foundation announcement''". Wstar.Com. September 11, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ a b Slice Of Life: Denver
Denver
Tells Of Chainsaws, Choke Holds, The Orlando Sentinel, November 6, 1994, retrieved February 16, 2012 ^ a b c Denver, John, Take Me Home: An Autobiography, Crown Archetype Press, ISBN 0-517-59537-0, ISBN 978-0-517-59537-4 (1994) ^ "PBS Nature Website, "John Denver
Denver
– Let this be a voice"". Pbs.org. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ "Roger Nichols". The Daily Telegraph. London. June 16, 2011.  ^ "John Denver". Rock on the Net. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ "John Denver". Midtod.com. 1997-10-05. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ Martin, Frank W. "John Denver's Unsung Story", People, February 26, 1979. ^ a b c d Story, Rob, "Dropping In: John Denver's Moral Victory", Ski Magazine, retrieved February 16, 2012 ^ " Cassandra Delaney Biography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-07-08.  ^ Castro, Peter, "Peaks & Valleys", People, October 27, 1997, Vol. 49 No. 17, retrieved February 16, 2012 ^ a b c d e f g h "Close-up: The John Denver
Denver
Crash" Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., AVWeb, retrieved February 16, 2012 ^ a b c d e f g h i National Transportation Safety Board, "NTSB Public Meeting of January 26, 1999: Aircraft Accident involving John Denver in Flight Collision with Terrain/Water October 12, 1997, Pacific Ocean near Pacific Grove, CA, LAX-98-FA008", Washington, D.C., January 26, 1999 ^ a b Castro, Peter. "Peaks & Valleys", People, October 27, 1997. ^ a b "Closeup: The John Denver
Denver
Crash". Avweb.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ " National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report, Accident no. LAX98FA008". NTSB.gov. October 12, 1997. Retrieved March 27, 2017.  ^ Kligman, David. "John Denver
Denver
Dies In Crash", Chicago Sun Times, October 13, 1997. reprinted at highbeam.com ^ "Archive : Vault : Death Certificates: John Denver". Rockmine. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ Press, From Associated (June 23, 1998). "John Denver
Denver
Plane Crash Inquiry Ends" – via LA Times.  ^ "Denver's Long-EZ". Check-six.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
(NTSB). "Press release". Retrieved December 7, 2009.  ^ Coile, Zachary; Gurnon, Emily; Hatfield, Larry D. (October 13, 1997). "John Denver
Denver
dies in crash". SFGate. Retrieved 26 September 2016.  ^ National Transportation Safety Board. Long-EZ, N555JD, Flight History and Accident Report, ID= LAX98FA008, October 12, 1997.[dead link] ^ Buckman, Adam. "Home Movie Disses Denver", New York Post, April 29, 2000. ^ "John Denver
Denver
and Friends Rocky Mountain High
Rocky Mountain High
WWW Page". Shellworld.net. April 17, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ " Colorado
Colorado
State Song Rocky Mountain High
Rocky Mountain High
composed by John Denver". Netstate.com. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ Denver
Denver
Post, March 13, 2007 ^ "John Denver
Denver
Sanctuary, Aspen, Colorado". Aspenportrait.com. October 12, 1997. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ "John Denver
Denver
Memorial Plaque Pacific Grove". Johndenverclub.org. Retrieved May 9, 2011.  ^ [3] Archived March 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "John Denver, Composer of Two State Songs - In Mozart's Footsteps - Uncommon Musical Travel". Inmozartsfootsteps.com. 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2015-08-25.  ^ Baskin, Gregory (16 October 2014). "John Denver
Denver
To Get Posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
[Video]". Guardian Liberty Voice. Retrieved 18 October 2014.  ^ Along with U.S. Senator
U.S. Senator
Jake Garn, U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, actor James Stewart, and Tom Abraham, a businessman from Canadian, Texas, who worked with immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens. Cited in "Tom Abraham to be honored by Freedoms Foundation Feb. 22", Canadian Record, February 14, 1980, p. 19

Sources[edit]

Flippo, Chet (1998) "John Denver", The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Paul Kingsbury, Editor, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 143. Martin, James M. (1977) John Denver: Rocky Mountain Wonderboy, Pinnacle Books. (Out of print) Biography of Denver
Denver
with insight into Denver's impact of the 1970s music industry. Orth, Maureen, "Voice of America", Newsweek, December 1976. Includes information on the role of Weintraub in shaping Denver's career, which has since been edited out of later versions of his biography.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Denver.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Denver

Official website Windstar Foundation, cofounded by Denver Clips of his songs from the Songwriters Hall of Fame
Songwriters Hall of Fame
website John Denver
Denver
on IMDb John Denver
Denver
at Find a Grave Official German Fanclub - bilingual website with bio, info, photos etc John Denver
Denver
Sanctuary FBI Records: The Vault - John Denver
Denver
at vault.fbi.gov]

v t e

John Denver

Studio albums

John Denver
Denver
Sings Rhymes & Reasons Take Me to Tomorrow Whose Garden Was This Poems, Prayers & Promises Aerie Rocky Mountain High Farewell Andromeda Back Home Again Windsong Spirit I Want to Live John Denver Autograph Some Days Are Diamonds Seasons of the Heart It's About Time Dreamland Express One World Higher Ground Earth Songs The Flower That Shattered the Stone Different Directions Love Again All Aboard!

Live albums

An Evening with John Denver Live in London Live at the Sydney Opera House The Wildlife Concert The Best of John Denver
Denver
Live Sing Australia Christmas in Concert The Harbor Lights Concert Live in the U.S.S.R. Live at Cedar Rapids

Specialty albums

Rocky Mountain Christmas A Christmas Together Rocky Mountain Holiday Christmas, Like a Lullaby Forever, John

Compilation albums

John Denver's Greatest Hits John Denver's Greatest Hits, Volume 2 John Denver's Greatest Hits, Volume 3 The Very Best of John Denver John Denver: A Portrait The John Denver
Denver
Collection Something to Sing About 16 Biggest Hits

Tribute albums

The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver

Singles

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" "Rocky Mountain High" "Sunshine on My Shoulders" "Annie's Song" "Back Home Again" "Sweet Surrender" "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" "I'm Sorry" "Calypso" "Fly Away" "Looking for Space" "Like a Sad Song" "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)" "The Cowboy and the Lady" "Perhaps Love" "Shanghai Breezes" "Dreamland Express" "And So It Goes"

Related articles

Discography Filmography Perhaps Love "Leaving on a Jet Plane"

Category

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 51874963 LCCN: n50001603 ISNI: 0000 0000 8382 2958 GND: 118524712 SUDOC: 084053410 BNF: cb13893177d (data) MusicBrainz: 34e10b51-b5c6-4bc1-b70e-f05f141eda1e B

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