Rocky Mountain High: A Tribute to John Denver
When a plane fell out of the sky in October of ‘97, gravity claimed John Denver, one of the best-writing, best-loved songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Raised as an Air Force brat with a family that moved frequently around the southwest, Denver learned guitar on a 1910 Gibson acoustic given him by his grandmother, eventually riding the hootenanny circuit to the front of the Chad Mitchell Trio; writing “Leaving On A Jet Plane” into gold for Peter, Paul and Mary; and becoming a million-selling spokesman for the good feel of the sun, the pleasures of home, and the importance of love: the sweet simple joys of life.
But John Denver didn’t just thank God for being a country boy, he was thankful for the Earth as a whole. The only non-classical musician to be awarded the Albert Schweitzer Music Award for lifetime humanitarianism, Denver devoted the last decades of his short life to helping victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, working to heal the ecological balance of the planet, and volunteering his time for the National Space Institute. And man, he loved to fly.