Behind a successful band

John Denver – The Country Legend Lives On

His gentle voice and easy-listening lyrics became equally popular as background music and as a genuine expression of love. His music spanned three decades, and he won numerous recording awards and Platinum albums for one million sales. In 1993 he was chosen to be the recipient of the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Music Award, and in 1996 he was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., this son of an American RAF Officer he moved around a lot in his early life. His passion for music was inspired when he was given his grandmother’s Gibson guitar and he started to have guitar lessons and joined a boy’s choir. But it was not until he was 20 years-old he was able to follow his dream and pursue a career in music.

When he was 23, John moved to Los Angeles and friends persuaded him to change his name to one more suitable for a recording artist. They suggested John Somerville but he decided to take his surname from the capital city of his home state of Colorado and the legendary John Denver was born.

He started to break into the music industry when he was selected to be the lead singer in the Mitchell Trio but when he started to make an impact as a singer/songwriter the trio disbanded and he went solo and steadily climbed up the charts with some of his best-known songs

  • Take Me Home Country Roads
  • Rocky Mountain High
  • Sunshine on my Shoulders
  • Annie’s Song
  • Back Home Again
  • Thank God I’m a Country Boy
  • Calypso

Annie’s Song

It is this song that is Denver’s legacy; it was his second song to reach the top of the American Charts and the one which reached Number One in Great Britain. In the UK it was the only one of Denver’s singles to make any real impact.

Annie’s Song was written in 1974 in ten-and-a-half minutes on a ski lift to the top of Bell Mountain. Denver wrote it as a tribute to his then-wife Annie (nee Martell). He had just completed an exhilarating run and the beauty of his surroundings made him think of his first wife and the love he had for her.

It became a standard wedding song and a romantic expression of love for many couples as Annie’s name is never actually mentioned in the lyrics. It is as popular today as it was when it was written more than 40 years ago.

Away from his music Denver was a humanitarian and passionately interested in space travel. He witnessed the first manned space flight on Apollo/Soyuz first hand and he took and passed NASA’s physical examination to see if he was mentally and physically fit for space travel.

He was one of the leading candidates to be the first civilian to go on a space flight and he planned to write a song whilst he was traveling in space. But fate intervened and he was unable to go on the ill-fated flight that tragically exploded on take-off in 1986.

The Fatal Flight

Denver was an experienced pilot and at the time of his crash, he was renting a house in Monterey. He only bought the Long-Eze two-seater fiberglass plane the day before the flight. The plane had been built from a kit some years before and he had already flown it from Santa Maria to Monterey. He got permission from Monterey Airport to take the plane on a test flight along the coast and he was practicing touch and go landings, swooping down to the runway and pulling the plane back up.

The 53-year-old singer was flying approximately 150 feet from the land and 500 feet above the sea when the plane dropped like a stone into the water and broke upon impact. Denver’s body was so badly mutilated all the rescuers could identify from the body was that it was male. The cause of the crash was allegedly lack of fuel, for some reason Denver had not filled up the plane before the flight.

The remains of his body were cremated and his ashes were taken to the place he sang about in so many of his songs, Aspen in Colorado, his grandmother’s Gibson guitar was cremated with him. There is now a Memorial Park at the site and a gravestone where fans can visit and pay tribute to the star.

When his death was announced Roy Romer, the Governor of Colorado ordered all state flags should be lowered to half-mast in his honor.

Behind a successful band

What Can Music Do For You

We have probably heard this many times: music is life. And that is indeed true. Music can do so much for you in ways you might have not even thought of. It is more than the rhythm or the harmony or the lyrics put together. There is just something about music that can change the way you feel, think or even respond to various things.

Music is life according to therapistsHere are some of the top benefits of listening to music:

1. It can relieve stress

Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel stressed at work, you just need to listen to music and your mood suddenly feels lighter? That’s one of the effects of music. It can lighten the negative feeling and put you in a better mood. Some doctors even prescribe listening to music to their stressed patients because it can help relax their tired spirit and relieve the stress. So the next time you feel like throwing tantrums in the office because your boss is irritating you, just plug in your earphones and listen to music.

2. Music can make you smart

This is mainly one of the reasons why pregnant moms are encouraged to listen to classical music while they are relaxing. They say listening to this type of music can help make the baby in your tummy grow to be a smart and intelligent child. And it actually works as proven by most moms who did the said practice. Furthermore, there was a study conducted at the University of Toronto in Mississauga wherein children age six were encouraged to listen to music or even be musically-inclined. The results showed that these children have an increase in their intelligent quotient. This is also one of the reasons why parents are encouraged to enroll their kids in various music lessons such as piano, guitar, drums or even voice.

Listening to music changes your mood3. Rejuvenation

Yes, music can even help refresh and revitalize your body system just by listening to it. When you are not feeling well emotionally or physically, try playing a music instrument as it can help the body and mind to heal itself. If you are in search of a relaxing hobby, you can enroll to a guitar training by Music To Your Home so that you can leisurely play your favorite songs on the guitar.

4. Music can give you quality sleep

Whenever you have a hard time to sleep, just play some music, and you will inevitably doze off in no time. But of course, it depends on the type of music you will listen to. Make sure that when you want to fall asleep faster, you will play in some classical or soft, mellow music. It will feel like a lullaby to you, and you can drop asleep faster. Music helps our mind and body to relax so that it can have the rest it needs.

5. It can help change your mood

There are times when no matter how good things around you are, you just don’t feel good. You feel down, and you just don’t want to talk to anyone or anybody. And it happens once in a while to all people, no matter how cheerful or fun-loving you are. In times like these, you can turn to music to uplift your bored or down spirit. Listen to some positive, feel-good music, and your mood will undoubtedly change in no time.