Take me home, country roads

By: sonofabeach96

Oct 12 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date, in 1997, Henry John Duetschendorf, better known as John Denver, died in a plane crash.  An avid aviator, the plane was experimental and ran out of fuel over Monterrey Bay, CA.

He was known as a folk singer primarily, but was a prolific songwriter.  He recorded over 300 songs and roughly 200 of those he composed himself.  His solo career began in the 70’s and he achieved 12 certified gold albums and 4 platinum.  His music appeared on numerous Billboard charts, from country/western, to pop, to adult contemporary.

He was a staunch supporter of environmental causes and anti-censorship in music, even appearing before Congress to voice his displeasure with censorship in lyrics.  He was a military brat, moving a lot as a child, but lived most of his adult life in Aspen, CO.  In fact, Colorado named him State Poet Laureate in 1974 and adopted “Rocky Mountain High” as one of its State Songs in 1997.

He garnered numerous awards over the years:  Academy of Country Music Album of the Year in 1974 for “Back Home Again”

1975 Country Music Assoc. Entertainer of the Year

Emmy Award in 1975 for “An Evening With John Denver”

Grammy Award in 1997 and Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 (posthumously)

Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996

People’s Choice Award in 1977

Carl Sandburg People’s Poet Award in 1982

Albert Schweitzer Music Award in 1993

Some may see him as “hokey” or “corny”.  He certainly wouldn’t be considered a “rocker”.   He was more Peter, Paul, and Mary than Peter Frampton.  In fact, he wrote “Leaving On A Jet Plane”, the only no. 1 hit for Peter, Paul, and Mary.  Say what you will, rock purists, but the man was a talented instrumentally, and an even more talented lyricist.  His songs are beautiful and convey meaning, depth, and protest, all true hallmarks of folk music.  He was one of the most beloved and significant musicians of his era.

Songs of the day:

“Violets of Dawn” by The Chad Mitchell Trio

“Leaving On A Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul, and Mary

“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver

“Fly Away” by John Denver

“Take Me To Tomorrow” by John Denver

31 comments on “Take me home, country roads”

  1. He did record some exceptional songs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. On our drive around the Rocky Mountains we listened to his music. It was an homage to a fantastic singer and songwriter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The older I got, the more I appreciated his lyrics. Terrific guy. I really related to his love for and support of environmental causes and stewardship of natural resources.


  3. Ran out of fuel? Good grief!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. he was a very kind hearted man….didn’t have rock n roll in his bones….but certainly had that good ole Rocky Mountain High about him…..LOL I still enjoy listening to his music…and have a heavy sigh when I think he was taken before his time….kat

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Gone way too early

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I learned a few things from this post! Thx 🙂

    Never really cared for JD’s music but will admit to perhaps viewing him a bit differently knowing he wrote “Leaving on a Jet Plane” since I love that song. I also had no idea he died in Northern California. Small world we live in.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. He had a gorgeous voice, a generous spirit and an expansive appreciation of the grandeur of nature. His brilliance is still missed. Thank you for this tribute,.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. True American Folk music.

    Liked by 1 person

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