This Wednesday when the April A to Z Challenge begins on April 1st, I’ll be writing about the Second World War every day except Sunday for 26 days.  You can see the list of subjects on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge page but today I write about someone who’s ideologies were the complete opposite of war.
John Denver had many hits in the 1970s; however his first #1 song, “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” which reached the top of the pop charts on March 30, 1974, captured the essence of who he really was. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” was John Denver’s attempt to write a sad song, which is really all one needs to know in order to understand what made Denver so appealing to so many.
“I was so down I wanted to write a feeling-blue song,” he told Seventeen magazine in 1974, “[but] this is what came out.”
Originally released on his 1971 album Poems, Prayers and Promises, Denver’s lovely ode to the restorative powers of sunlight only became a smash hit when re-released on his John Denvers Greatest Hits album in late 1973—an album that went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Throughtout his musical career, John Denver had his share of critics but this didn’t dampen public enthusiasm for Denver’s records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, John Denver has sold 32.5 million records—4.5 million more than Michael Bolton, and only 4.5 million fewer than Bob Dylan.
Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. on December 31, 1943, in Roswell, New Mexico, John Denver died in California on October 12, 1997, when his ultra-light aircraft crashed into Monterey Bay.

3 responses

  1. Birgit says:

    I always loved his music. I never thought of that song as sad. I remember him playing with different orchestras and it was a real pleasure


  2. EcoCatLady says:

    Just found you through the A-Z challenge and had to read this post. I was the biggest John Denver fan EVER as a kid. It was totally un-cool as a 80’s teenager, but I couldn’t help myself, he just spoke to me.

    Anyhow, I even wrote him a crazy teenage girl fan letter – 15 pages long pouring out my heart to him… and guess what, he wrote back! It was just a short note telling me that he was glad his music had touched my life, but it was such a kind gesture. The world is so much poorer for having lost him.