Personalities | John Denver | Mainstream Country
(Vocals, songwriter, 1943–97)
Born John Henry Deutschendorf in Roswell, New Mexico, Denver worked with folk act The Chad Mitchell Trio between 1965 and 68. He turned from folk to country and pop in 1969 when he wrote ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ (1969) – Peter, Paul And Mary’s only No. 1. Signed to RCA, he enjoyed crossover success with his pop/folk material during the 1970s. The million-selling ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ was his first US country hit in 1971, also making the US Pop Top 3, while Olivia Newton-John’s 1973 cover version was a UK Top 20 hit. ‘Back Home Again’ was Denver’s first country No. 1 in 1974, a year when both ‘Sunshine On My Shoulder’ and ‘Annie’s Song’, penned for his then wife, were million selling US pop No. 1s; other million selling country/pop No. 1s include ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy’ and ‘I’m Sorry’ (both 1975).
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