Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31: John Denver was born on this date in 1943...

... he died on October 12, 1997. Denver was killed when his Experimental Rutan Long-EZ plane, aircraft  crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Pacific Grove, California.
Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., in Roswell, New Mexico, Denver recorded around 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed himself. His best known songs include Songs such as "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," "Sunshine on My Shoulders," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," "Annie's Song" and "Calypso."

Because Denver's father was in the military, the family moved often, making it difficult for young John to make friends and fit in with people of his own age. When he was 12, John received a 1910 Gibson acoustic jazz guitar from his grandmother. 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, when it was  suggested that "Deutschendorf" wouldn't fit well on a theater marquee.


(Press album cover for direct link to ENTIRE Amazon Website):
Wildlife Concert

Denver attended Texas Technological College in Lubbock and sang in a folk-music group called "The Alpine Trio" while studying architecture. He  dropped out of college in 1963 and moved to Los Angeles, where he sang in underground folk clubs. In 1965, Denver joined the Chad Mitchell Trio, a folk group that had been renamed "The Mitchell Trio" prior to Chad Mitchell's departure, and later "Denver, Boise, and Johnson" (with David Boise, and Michael Johnson.)

In 1969, Denver pursued a solo career and released his first album Rhymes and Reasons.
Denver was also a guest star on The Muppet Show, the beginning of a lifelong friendship between Denver and Jim Henson that spawned two television specials with The Muppets. He also tried his hand at acting, starring in the 1977 film Oh, God! opposite George Burns. Denver hosted the Grammy Awards five times in the 1970s and 1980s, and guest-hosted The Tonight Show on multiple occasions.

John Denver has received many awards including:
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 for "An Evening With John Denver"
Grammy Awards
1997 Best Musical Album For Children for "All Aboard!"
1998 Grammy Hall of Fame Award for "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
Songwriters Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1996
Other Honors
Poet Laureate of Colorado, 1977
People's Choice Awards, 1977
Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, 1979
Carl Sandburg’s People’s Poet Award, 1982
NASA Public Service Medal, 1985
Albert Schweitzer Music Award, 1993
"Rocky Mountain High" declared state song of Colorado, 2007.

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