Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. in Roswell, New Mexico, John Denver was a 1970s music icon. His music was difficult to classify, touching Pop, Country, and Folk genres. Regardless of how they were classified, Denver was responsible for some of the most enduring songs of the '70s including, "Take Me Home Country Roads" and "Rocky Mountain High."
Denver was part of a military family, often on the move, and while his parents did not agree with his choice to pursue a career in music after high school, they did support him. He said in a 1976 interview with Melody Maker, "They gave me the space to be who I am, even though they didn't understand and disagreed. My parents did that for me and that's the greatest gift anyone has given me in my life."
Denver broke into the music business as a folk singer, most notably as a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio. It was the manager of the group, Milt Okun, who took Denver's song, "Leaving On A Jet Plane," to Peter, Paul and Mary. The song became a #1 hit for the group in 1970 - their only #1 song and the biggest hit of their career. The success of the song gave Denver some exposure and allowed him to pursue his solo career, which began with the release of the album Rhymes and Reasons in 1969. He followed up with Whose Garden is This and Take Me to Tomorrow in 1970.
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