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Denver, John (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.)

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Born: 1943 AD
Died: 1997 AD, at 53 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Musicians, Songwriter

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1943 - John Denver, Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., was an American folk singer-songwriter and folk rock musician who was one of the biggest selling artists of the 1970's was born on the 31st of December.

 

1965 - Joined the Chad Mitchell Trio, a folk group later renamed "The Mitchell Trio" and then "Denver, Boise, and Johnson".

 

1967 -  First married to Annie Martell of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Annie, the mother of two of his three children, was the subject of his much-beloved hit "Annie's Song", which was written by Denver during a hike in a state park near New Ulm, Minnesota.

 

1969 - Abandoned the band life to pursue a solo career, and released his first album for RCA Records, Rhymes and Reasons. It was not a huge hit, but it contained "Leaving On A Jet Plane", which became a number one hit for Peter, Paul and Mary that same year.

 

1972 - Had a concert at Washington, D.C.,  Nixon and then Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhou Enlai were members of the audience. After the concert, which included Denver's infamous parodies "The Ballad of Richard Nixon" and "The Ballad of Spiro Agnew" , the Premier purchased 500 cassette tapes of the country folk ballad "Take Me Home, Country Roads" which would become the first western music legally played in the People's Republic of China.

 

1976 - Founded the charitable Windstar Foundation to promote sustainable living. His dismay at the Chernobyl disaster led to precedent-setting concerts in parts of communist Asia and Europe.

 

1977 - Co-founded The Hunger Project, along with Werner Erhard and Robert W. Fuller. Denver served for many years, and supported the organization until his death. He was also appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the President's Commission on World Hunger. He wrote and dedicated the song "I Want to Live" as the theme song for the Hunger Project.

 

1979 - Performed "Rhymes & Reasons" at the Music for UNICEF Concert, which gained him exposure to worldwide audiences; he donated the royalties from the song to UNICEF.

 

1980 - Was a critic of the Reagan Administration's environmental and defense spending policies.

 

1988 - Married Australian actress and singer Cassandra Delaney, and together they had a daughter named Jesse Belle, after Denver sought medical treatment for his infertility.

 

1996 - Was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his "legend" status was ensured.

 

1997 - Filmed an episode for the Nature series, centering on the natural wonders that inspired many of his best-loved songs. The episode contains his last song, "Yellowstone, Coming Home," which he composed while rafting along the Colorado River with his son and young daughter.

 

        - Was killed when the Long-EZ aircraft he was piloting crashed just off the coast of California at Pacific Grove on the 12th of October.


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Page last updated: 10:19am, 24th Feb '07

  • "Whatever meaning'Annie's Song'had for me on a personal level, there was also a larger context. It could just as easily have been about love for a brother. Or a father. Or a friend. It could just as easily have been a prayer."