John Denver – American singer
John Denver was an American singer, who is the most commercially successful solo artist in the history of folk music. During his career, he recorded more than 300 songs, most of which he wrote himself (example – Take Me Home Country Roads). In the late 1960s, Denver played in Chad Mitchell’s trio but in 1969 he began his solo career. The album of greatest hits released in 1974 became platinum ten times. The song written special for his wife, Annie’s Song, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
After the triumph of the mid-1970s Denver recorded fewer songs. He occasionally played in films, served as poet laureate of Colorado, but most of the time he spent on environmental protection. After the Chernobyl disaster in Kiev, he wrote a song about Piskaryovsky cemetery.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (real name) was born on December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. He was the son of a US air force officer.
When he was 11 years old his grandmother presented him with a guitar.
Denver studied at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and sang in The Alpine Trio band. In 1963 he left University and went to Los Angeles, where he performed in folk clubs.
In 1965, John joined the folklore ensemble Chad Mitchell Trio which was renamed the Mitchell Trio, and then – Denver, Boise, and Johnson (John Denver, David Boise, and Michael Johnson).
Denver met his first wife Annie in 1966 while touring, and they were married in June 1967. In 1970 the couple moved to Aspen, Colorado. Unable to have children, John and Annie adopted Zachery and Anna Kate. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce. A subsequent marriage also ended unhappily, leaving him with daughter Jessie Bell.
In 1969 Denver left his band to start a solo career and then created his first album RCA Records: Rhymes & Reasons.
In 1970 he recorded two more albums – Take Me to Tomorrow and Whose Garden Was This.
The next album, Poems, Prayers & Promises (April 1971) became incredibly successful.
He had 13 top ASCAP hits, 9 platinum albums, one platinum single (Take Me Home, Country Roads), 13 gold albums, and six gold singles. He also had gold records in Canada, Australia, and Germany. In 1975 he was named CMA’s Entertainer of the Year. He was also a successful actor, starring in Oh, God and Walking Thunder.
In addition to music his second passion was flying. An experienced pilot, he had owned a Lear Jet and was even said to have flown fighter aircraft.
John Denver died in the plane crash on October 12, 1997 in Monterey, California. Denver’s funeral in Aspen, Colorado was attended by thousands.