September 11, 2014
JOHN DENVER’s RECORDING CAREER CELEBRATED ON NEW BOX SET, ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION
Deluxe 90-song, 4-CD box set is first comprehensive multi-label overview to span 1964 to 1997, including six previously unreleased tracks, demos, promo rarities, live performances, limited edition and private pressings, and more
Special guests: the Mitchell Trio, Olivia Newton-John, Sylvie Vartan, Placido Domingo, Emmylou Harris, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Muppets, and others
Box set available everywhere November 4, 2014, through RCA/Legacy
John Denver’s prolific recording career is paid high tribute on ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION. This deluxe 90-song, 4-CD box set, representing virtually every one of the studio and live albums he recorded in his lifetime, encom¬passes hit singles and signature album tracks, demos, promotional rarities, limited edition and private pressings, and a total of six previously unreleased tracks. The first truly comprehensive over¬view of his more than three decades of recording, from 1964 (before his solo career took off) to 1997 (the year of his death), this box set will be available every¬where November 4th through RCA/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. ALL OF MY MEMORIES is available now for pre-order on Amazon, here: smarturl.it/JD_AOMM_amzn.
From his start as an itinerant folk-singer in the mid-1960s, John Denver rose to world class status as a multi-platinum selling recording artist and producer, a two-time Grammy Award®-winner (and five-time host of the Grammy Awards® broadcast), movie actor, television personality, philanthropist, environmental and human rights activist, and much more.
John Denver is recognized as one of the most celebrated entertainers of the 1970s, with sales over 33 million to date, including eight Billboard Top 10 RCA Albums in the U.S. (three of which hit #1). These include seven RIAA multi-platinum, thirteen platinum and 20 gold album certifications. He charted more than 40 Billboard Hot 100, AC and Country songs from 1971 to 1988. His #1 hits from 1974-’76 included “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” “Sweet Surrender,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” (a rare live record to top the chart), “Calypso” (a monument to his close association with undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau), “Fly Away” featuring Olivia Newton-John, “Look¬ing For Space,” and “Like A Sad Song.” These and his ‘campfire’ standards, “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (designated in 2014 as the state song of West Virginia), and “Rocky Mountain High” (designated in 2007 as one of two state songs of Colorado) – not to mention his numerous recordings, movies and television appearances with Jim Henson’s Muppets – comprise a body of work that will resonate forever.
In addition to recapping hit singles, signature album tracks, live performances, folk boom rarities, private pressings tracks, and promotional-only tracks, ALL OF MY MEMORIES also uncovered six previously unissued treasures: • Cover versions of “The Road” and “Far Side Of The Hill,” both demos recorded for Capitol Records in Hollywood, 1964, prior to joining the Mitchell Trio; • “Rhymes And Reasons,” an original composition cut in early ’69 for Reprise Records, re-done later as the title track of Denver’s RCA debut LP in late-’69; • “Spirit,” first recorded on his 1975 Windsong LP, this version later recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in 1977, but not included on the 1999 concert album release; • An alternate take of “Eli’s Song” from 1976, with the prophetic lyric, “See the airplane fly, see the trees rush by/ Be brave and strong when you hurt yourself/ Don’t you have a worry in the world…”; and • A different version of the evergreen, “It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie,” 1973, whose 1955 hit by Somethin’ Smith And The Redheads was Denver’s mother’s favorite tune, and was famously sung by him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1972.
An accomplished songwriter, John Denver received the Carl Sandburg People’s Poet Award in 1982, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1996. As a writer’s writer, he appreciated a great song, as ALL OF MY MEMORIES shows. The box set features compositions by Bill Danoff & Taffy Nivert (who co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” and others), Buddy Holly (“Everyday”), John Prine (“Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream)”), Joe Henry, and others of note.
John Denver would have turned 70 on December 31, 2013. In November 2013, the BBC Four documentary, John Denver: Country Boy, premiered in recognition of his 70th. The one-hour film featured interviews with many important figures who knew Denver best, including his widow Annie Denver, producer Milton Okun, manager Jerry Weintraub, musicians James Burton and Paul Prestopino, and many others. Included in the 32-page booklet for ALL OF MY MEMORIES will be a selection of photographic images taken by Denver. The booklet will also contain the definitive 2,600-word liner notes essay written by long-time John Denver chronicler G. Brown, former Denver Post music critic, and now Director at the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame. Its first inductee was John Denver, in 2011.
Industry legend Milton Okun ‘discovered’ Denver and was his long-time producer (and execu¬tive producer) on some 20-plus studio, live and ‘hits’ albums from 1965 (as the Mitchell Trio’s producer) up until 1986. As Okun said in the BBC documentary, “He came to New York to audition, and it was very clear right away that he was the best.” Okun brought Denver’s “Leaving, On A Jet Plane” to Peter, Paul & Mary (whom he was also producing) for their second ‘folk-rock’ LP, Album 1700, and the song became PP&M’s one and only #1 career hit. “He represented America at its best and healthiest,” Okun said of Denver, “and was a wonderful artist and a wonderful writer, and I think his songs will be sung for hundreds of years. They’re that good.”
The release of ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION builds on the momentum of a resurgence in his popularity that began in 2007, the tenth anniversary year of his death, when the Colorado Senate named “Rocky Mountain High” as one of its two official state songs. Several commemorative multi-CD and DVD concert packages were issued by his family over the next two years. In April 2011, the all-star John Denver Earth Day Celebration Concert sold out at 1STBANK Center; and February 2013 marked the opening of the 15-city “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert” tour, in which for the first time in 15 years, he was seen on giant video screens, performing hit songs spanning his career, backed by live musicians. The music was presented along with stories of life on the road with the artist, as told by old friends and fellow performers.
Interest soared when The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver (ATO Records) debuted in the Top 50 on Soundscan in April 2013. A diverse group of contributing artists ranged from Dave Matthews to Train, to Lucinda Williams, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show, and many more. Highlights included My Morning Jacket’s opening take of “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” and a special duet by Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris on “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Indeed, John Denver’s passions extended far beyond the music. Throughout his career, he imparted strong messages in his work and used his celebrity to champion important causes. Songs like “I Want to Live” and “Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For)” served as rallying themes to stand up and solve problems like world hunger and nuclear disarmament. He backed up his convictions with action, co-founding both the Hunger Project charity and the Windstar Foundation to raise awareness for those suffering from starvation and to educate people on conservation efforts, two causes closest to his heart.
In his liner notes for ALL OF MY MEMORIES, G. Brown evokes the memory of fellow singer-songwriter (and folk boom survivor) John Stewart, who told a British journalist in 1971 about his friend: “Watch John Denver. He’s a genius. He’ll defeat all the cynicism in the world because he’s so real. You don’t have to think too much about him—just lie back and let his sunshine wash all over you. And you know you’ll feel real.”
June 19, 2014
John Denver’s Autobiography, “Take Me Home,” was published in 1994 and later released as an audio book on CD read by John himself. The book in all formats has been out of print for some years, but it’s now available in paperback and digital download, and soon to come for Kindle.
April 22, 2014
“I see more clearly now what I can do about (the Earth’s needs), and I see that it needs doing as I live my life, daily, reverently. This isn’t the reverence of “holier than thou,” it’s the reverence that says, ‘Do thyself no harm, for we are all here together.’ Not you or me, but you and me.” ~John Denver
March 6, 2014
A special resolution to make the John Denver hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” an official West Virginia state song is expected to pass during the state legislative session this Friday. The song, which begins with the lyrics “Almost Heaven West Virginia…” was a hit for singer John Denver and his co-writers Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert when it was released in 1971.
A reception will also be held Friday at 2pm at the lower rotunda of the State Capitol, featuring Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and state legislators, musical performances from the Appalachian Children’s Chorus, students from Cabell Midland High School and America’s Got Talent winner and West Virginia resident Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
Princeton WV resident Dreama Denver, wife of the late television icon Bob “Gilligan” Denver is not related to John Denver (whose real last name was Deutschendorf). But, as head of the Mercer County WV-based Denver Foundation, she began pushing for “Take Me Home, Country Roads” to become the state’s official song in 2012. It all began with an on-air chat with her “Sunny Side Up” show listeners on Little Buddy Radio 93.1 FM, which is also heard around the world at www.littlebuddyradio.com.
Denver then enlisted the help of State Senator Bill Cole and House of Delegates member Marty Gearhart to get the resolution reintroduced in the Legislature before the session wraps up this week.
“We are identified favorably all over the world by the lyrics of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads”, Dreama told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “Their whole vision of West Virginia is tied up in the song all over the world. When the first four words are ‘Almost Heaven, West Virginia,’ that says it all, doesn’t it?”
“Country Roads” co-writer Bill Danoff, contacted by West Virginia Music Hall of Fame head Michael Lipton said “It’s a wonderful honor; It was over 43 years ago when we put the song out. John would be really happy, as would my former wife Taffy. Personally, I’m thrilled, and really proud to be a part of what I like to think of as the West Virginia Pride movement. I’ve had these incredible stories of people from all over the world connecting to the state because of the song. It’s really nice for it to be a part of the positive image of West Virginia. “
“Country Roads” has been heard and performed around the globe from Irish pubs to the Czech Republic, and even at the Great Wall of China. When now U.S. Senator Joe Manchin visited Thailand as West Virginia’s Governor, Thailand’s prime minister started singing, “Almost Heaven, West Virginia” after introducing Manchin.
February 28, 2014
GRAMMY-nominated Special Consensus joins forces with bluegrass music’s brightest stars on COUNTRY BOY, a bluegrass tribute to John Denver. There is a natural affinity between bluegrass and John Denver’s repertoire but this is the first purely bluegrass tribute to Denver’s music. COUNTRY BOY showcases Special Consensus at the musical center of each track with a guest cast of Grammy-winning and International Bluegrass Music Association-winning vocalists and instrumentalists.
Produced by Alison Brown, the album features a solid 10 song set of Denver hits and lesser known songs. http://compassrecords.com/arma/special_consensus_country_boy.php
February 11, 2014
On December 31st, 2013, John Denver would have been 70 years old. As we remember John, please join us in using the hashtag #RememberJohnDenver on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts about John so we can collect these thoughts all in once place. Read more about hashtags and how they work here: https://www.facebook.com/help/
February 7, 2014
“Sweet, Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver,” an exhibition of photographs taken by John Denver, is on display at Leon gallery in Denver, CO through March 2nd. Limited edition prints are available for purchase at the gallery, and now available online for viewing and purchase at www.leongallery.com.
December 31, 2013
December 31, 2013. I hold up my glass and toast our old friend, John Denver, today on his 70th birthday. John, you are a true American icon. You were a great singer, songwriter, poet, and humanitarian from America’s heartland. Moreover, you came from a deeper place – you came from the heartland of Mother Earth.
Yes, I miss your smile, and that unbridled enthusiasm to dive headfirst into life. When I was with you, I always felt as if I were jogging while you were walking. It’s as if you always had a contribution to make and didn’t want to be late. But then you would pick up your old guitar, open your mouth to sing, and somehow time would stop for all of us.
Now you have no need for shoes and no need for time. I suspect you live with the eagles now and ride the wind, your songs echoing through the canyons of our minds, reminding us how right it is to care. And if we have an empty space inside of us since your passing, I know that it gets filled up every time we pick up litter or pick up a fallen friend. I know you laugh when you see us living joyfully, whistle when you see us living in harmony with nature, and sing out loud when we discover who we really are and live a life that shows it.
Happy 70th birthday, John. We love you,
Friend and Windstar co-founder
December 18, 2013
On January 11, 2014, Leon gallery in Denver, CO debuts “Sweet, Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver,” an exhibition of photographs taken by the late singer-songwriter John Denver. The gallery will hold an opening reception on January 11, 2014 from 7-10pm, and the exhibition will run through March 2, 2014. A limited number of prints will be available for purchase.
On Dec. 31, 2013, singer and songwriter John Denver, whose hits such as “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” gained him worldwide fame, would have celebrated his 70th birthday. In honor of his legacy, Denver’s estate will be celebrating the singer’s music and life throughout the year.
Among his many gifts, Denver was a talented photographer. “Sweet Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver” represents a chance for the world to experience life as John Denver lived it. Throughout his lifetime, Denver captured thousands of images as he traveled across the globe, spreading his message of peace, love, and conservation. Through his mastery of composition, lighting, and the decisive moment, Denver became an accomplished photographer. Leon gallery is proud to present over 40 never-before-seen photographs of distinction from the celebrated musician.
Statement from the curators and owners of Leon:
“It is a fascinating gift to get to know someone by looking through a lifetime of photographs; to see what was interesting, beautiful and worth remembering. Through curating over 10,000 of John Denver’s personal images, we found that his work not only represents his passionate vision of nature and the outdoors, but also chronicles the emotional beauty of society and individuals all over the world. He was an authentic, wide-eyed wanderer. You don’t see lavish clichés you’d expect from a famous touring musician; you see someone who built a career catered toward exploring life with his loved ones, and finding connections with people and nature in parts of the world that weren’t yet travel destinations. It’s inspiring. We’re excited to share this exhibit not only because this is the work of John Denver, an American icon who positively affected lives and land across the planet, but because at the end of the day he was a talented, dedicated man with a lot of heart. That is what is central to our vision at Leon.” – Lindsay Giles McWilliams + Eric Robert Dallimore
1112 East 17th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80218
Opening Reception: January 11, 2014, 7-10pm
Exhibition Dates: January 11-March 2, 2014
Gallery hours: 12pm-5pm Tuesday-Sunday
November 20, 2013
With exclusive interviews with those who knew him, BBC presents an intimate profile of John Denver. Friday November 22, 9pm on BBC Four.