artist spotlight::John Denver

I don’t really understand the lack of attention that John Denver gets, considering all the wonderful music he made. I guess John isn’t taken very seriously because of his muppet show stint or who knows what makes someone cool and not cool. To me it seems like John was a guy who really just wanted to have fun and obviously was trying to really live life and appreciate the things around him. He was known to have quite a penchant for the ladies when he was younger and had at least a couple of reefer and dui arrests. He was pro-environment and humanitarian way before it was trendy, and spent much of his latter years as a busy activist. Maybe really the problem is that Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., made music that was largely optimistic and never cynical or ironic. Well, perhaps there was a little irony in his song Toledo:
You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio
Well I spent a week there one day
They’ve got entertainment to dazzle your eyes
Go visit the bakery and watch the buns rise ……..

In 1973, John Denver hosted a six part show on the BBC where he did a bit of comedy, played solo and hosted special guests whom he would often accompany. His charisma was unavoidable and his smile near-ceaseless, as he showcased some of the times more interesting acts like Paul Williams who along with John performed a stellar version of “Drift Away” on one episode. John was no doubt goofy, loved to laugh and often muttered the phrase “FAR OUT!”

In the eighties, John’s popularity slipped away from him. Strangely enough in 1985 when USA for Africa recorded We Are The World, John Denver was not invited. His face was no longer a commodity and was seen as little value to the project compared to say Dan Aykroyd who was included.

John loved to celebrate life and his songs were documents on the beauty in the world and appreciating the things we have. In his song “Poems, Prayers, and Promises,” John reflects on the joys of spending time with friends and love ones, and he sings about how it turns him on to think of growing old (dreaming of growing old seems like an antiquated idea in our age where maintaining the façade of youth has become major industry). He never really got to be old or go up into space like he had wanted, but his life at least ended doing something he loved. John Denver had over 2700 hours of flight time, when on the 12th of October 1997 his plane touched down off the coast of California too soon. Regardless, John’s music still lives on for generations to discover some of the most heartfelt music ever made.
Leaving On A Jet Plane

Annie’s Song

The Strangest Dream (1971 war protest)

Rocky Mountain High

Take Me Home Country Roads

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