Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. was born on New Year's Eve 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico and as a teenager began a career that would establish him as one of the top singer songwriters of the 1970s as John Denver.
After starting his recording career with the Chad Mitchell Trio, Denver’s "Leaving on a Jet Plane” became a chart topper for Peter, Paul & Mary in 1969.
Changing his last name to “Denver” in honor of his favorite city, he recorded hundreds of songs with more than 30 landing on the Hit Parade of best sellers, starting with top-five hits “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in the summer of 1971 and “Rocky Mountain High” a year later. “Back Home Again” in 1974 and “Calypso” in 1975 also entered the top five.
Topping the charts with “Sunshine On My Shoulders” in 1974, his “Annie’s Song” followed in that same year. In 1975 both “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” and “I’m Sorry” were also #1 worldwide.
On October 12, 1997, John Denver died when the plane he was piloting crashed off the coast of California shortly after taking off from the Monterey Peninsula Airport. Cremated, his ashes were scattered in the Rocky Mountains.
John Denver is a 2008 nominee at the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.