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Sun Dec 15, 2019, 11:52 AM

This was one of my best Sunday mornings in years.

Last edited Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:37 PM - Edit history (1)

Having reached a saturation point of disgust, I decided to not watch the Sunday morning "news" shows. Instead, I switched to a PBS station that was showing a John Denver documentary.

John Denver's songs, "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Rocky Mountain High," "Country Roads," "Annie's Song," "Calypso," and so many more, were songs he wrote during a horrible era in American history -- Vietnam, Watergate and extreme political divisiveness.

Yet, John Denver's songs, and his genuine persona, brought moments of enjoyment to millions and they brought them to me this morning. Critics of the era crapped on him because he was neither country music, rock, nor any other identifiable category. Yet millions loved his songs. He sold over a billion records for RCA.

"Annie's Song," (you may not know the title, but google it and you will instantly recognize it), is perhaps one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. He wrote it in just ten minutes, after a spat with his wife, Annie, at the time. (To me, it's a work of musical art that will endure for centuries.)

He became acquainted with Jacques Cousteau and wrote "Calypso," for Cousteau, his crew, his mission of deep sea exploration, and his ship, the "Calypso". (Google that one too. You'll love it.)

John Denver lived in Aspen when it wasn't today's Aspen, but within spitting distance of nowhere. He adopted a black son, (which was an amazing, courageous and magnificent thing to do about 45 years ago), and a daughter.

Living in Colorado, and respecting and loving the land around him, John Denver was an environmentalist before that word existed. He treasured nature and the world that sustains us.

And virtually everyone who knew him attested to the fact that he was exactly the public person he seemed to be.

Today, we are living through another horrible American nightmare. Many of us live with days filled with despair about the future. At this moment, we could sure use many artists like John Denver who, with their music, can help us to carry on and endure.

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Reply This was one of my best Sunday mornings in years. (Original post)
Cyrano Dec 2019 OP
at140 Dec 2019 #1
Nimrod900 Dec 2019 #10
Roland99 Dec 2019 #2
mcar Dec 2019 #3
Demovictory9 Dec 2019 #4
Cyrano Dec 2019 #8
Silver1 Dec 2019 #28
Polly Hennessey Dec 2019 #32
USALiberal Dec 2019 #5
cwydro Dec 2019 #21
nolabear Dec 2019 #26
crickets Dec 2019 #6
panader0 Dec 2019 #7
Cyrano Dec 2019 #9
Leith Dec 2019 #38
demmiblue Dec 2019 #11
jayschool2013 Dec 2019 #12
Cyrano Dec 2019 #20
OhNo-Really Dec 2019 #35
jayschool2013 Dec 2019 #41
Sherman A1 Dec 2019 #13
3catwoman3 Dec 2019 #14
BunnyMcGee Dec 2019 #15
FakeNoose Dec 2019 #43
study war no more Dec 2019 #16
llmart Dec 2019 #17
Cyrano Dec 2019 #25
Alliepoo Dec 2019 #18
gristy Dec 2019 #19
Dem2theMax Dec 2019 #22
rurallib Dec 2019 #23
Ilsa Dec 2019 #24
pazzyanne Dec 2019 #27
chowder66 Dec 2019 #29
grantcart Dec 2019 #30
rustysgurl Dec 2019 #31
cab67 Dec 2019 #33
Cyrano Dec 2019 #39
in2herbs Dec 2019 #34
OxQQme Dec 2019 #36
Bayard Dec 2019 #37
trof Dec 2019 #40
Sugarcoated Dec 2019 #42
Luciferous Dec 2019 #44
SpankMe Dec 2019 #45

Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 11:55 AM

1. I still rate ABBA as the best ever singers/performers.

No wonder their music still so popular with even the younger folks who were not even born during the heydays of ABBA.

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Response to at140 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:43 PM

10. ABBA

Cannot disagree about John Denver (“Fly Away” with Olivia Newton-John is one of the most beautiful songs), but there is always ABBA far above the rest. My personal favourite is “Should I Laugh Or Cry”— appropriate for these past couple of weeks. And how wonderful is it that we will get some new ABBA songs in 2020 after a nearly 40-year hiatus.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 11:56 AM

2. Been playing his songs of late myself.

Brought back some childhood memories of learning Country Roads of guitar and watching him on The Muppet Show singing Grandma’s Feather Bed

He was gone too soon

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:00 PM

3. I saw him in concert eons ago

Leaving on a Jet Plane is one of my all-time favorites.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:04 PM

4. Annie's song

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:16 PM

8. Thanks for posting. Again, imo, it's one of the most beautiful love songs ever.

He said he wrote it in ten minutes. I, for one, believe. When inspiration strikes, it's like a bolt of lightening. Time stops and the human mind attains magnificence.

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Response to Cyrano (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:26 PM

28. Like a bolt of lightening ...

... and if you don't grab it just then, it simply fades away.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:47 PM

32. Thank you.

I remember the song and my husband who
died May 2014. All the emotions came flooding back.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:06 PM

5. Love his songs, but a couple of DUIs and a revoked pilots license. nt

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Response to USALiberal (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:41 PM

21. Omg, you mean, you mean...he was...was...

Human?

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Response to USALiberal (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:15 PM

26. Jesus. It must be hard to like anybody's work.

SO many humans with human flaws out there to tut. It’s not all or nothing, approve the man or hate the work. But what’s gained by making that the first thing you think?

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:09 PM

6. I remember growing up during those times

and still have a soft spot for John Denver. He wasn't all love songs and environmentalism, though.

Imagine the surprise during the Senate PMRC hearings when Denver stood shoulder to shoulder with Dee Snyder and Frank Zappa to oppose censorship in the music industry. John Denver was one of a kind.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:12 PM

7. Toots and the Maytals covered Country Roads:

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Response to panader0 (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:25 PM

9. Beautiful. And filled with so, so much meaning.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 04:29 PM

38. I enjoyed that more than I thought I would

Beautiful cover. Is he singing "west Jamaica?" It's nice to hear a new take on an old song.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:55 PM

11. One of my favorites: The Eagle and The Hawk (also adding the Calyso video):







He was a treasure.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:58 PM

12. Cuba

I traveled to Cuba almost four years ago with a film crew to produce a documentary.

What struck me about the people there is how they have dealt with living in a country where the authoritarian regime tells them that up is down, that night is day, and that right is left.

How do they cope?

They create and revel in art. It's a coping mechanism, and it's a healthy way to spend a day, a week, a month, a year.

You'll resume the fight when you're able. Until then, peace, love and music!

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Response to jayschool2013 (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:37 PM

20. Thank you, jayschool. Much appreciated

Yes, art, (along with pure science), is a coping mechanism. It is also the essence, and perhaps the ultimate meaning of our existence.

I wish you the best with your documentary. I'd love to see it.

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Response to Cyrano (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 03:18 PM

35. Yes to Art. They can't dictate our inner life!

And exercise within our safety limits

I use my little AppleTV box to screen play YouTube videos of Denver ABBA and other favorite songs and march in place/exercise

These solo dance parties are also good for weight management as well as stress

Lastly, I can’t imagine not having my FitBit Charger 3 that helps monitor my semi-broken heart ☺️ Best investment ever. Had an “event” this week I wouldn’t have understood without the FitBit bpm & sleep monitor features. Also tracks macros calories in & out, heart zones, lots of healt/activity vital info. And it stays charged for days!

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Response to Cyrano (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 10:52 PM

41. "¿Como Fue? A Cuban Journey"

I led a group of students from the University of Colorado to do a documentary about Guillermo Vidal, the former mayor of Denver, who was born in Cuba but airlifted out as part of Operation Peter Pan.

Here's the finished film. It played all over the country at film festivals both small and large through 2017-2018.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:01 PM

13. You have made a wise choice and one I hope more and more make

turn off the infotainment noise masquerading as journalism and get on with living.

There is far, far more to this world than the talking heads filling airtime between ads for drugs we never knew we needed.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:04 PM

14. While living in Denver in the early...

...1980s, attending grad school, my now-husband and I saw Denver perform in the outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheater. It was the perfect setting and a magical evening,

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:05 PM

15. My favorite by John Denver

Like a Sad Song

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Response to BunnyMcGee (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 16, 2019, 08:22 AM

43. Love this!

Thanks for posting.

BunnyMcGee your tagline is perfect.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:16 PM

16. Thanks for the reminder

John Denver continues to be one of my all time favorite artists. And I dare anyone to drive over the W.V. state line and NOT sing Country Roads.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:24 PM

17. You post is a beautiful tribute. It actually choked me up a bit.

I absolutely loved John Denver's music and him as a human being. I still listen to him and remember the albums of his that I bought in my youth.

I never watch the Sunday shows and I only turn on local news for the weather. I realized quite awhile ago that people don't really realize how it negatively impacts their emotional well-being. How much better off we would all be if we just stopped watching it. Trump is actually a manifestation of our country's addiction to watching any old crap that's out there. Think of all the ugly reality TV shows that began in the 90's. I saw it happening back then. They featured the ugliest dregs of our society (Cops, OC Choppers, Honey Boo Boo, etc.) and people lapped that stuff up. A steady diet of that seeped into our culture as "normal" and now our society reflects that.

Even here on DU, when a poster states that we would all be better off if we just turned off the boob tube, they get chastised by other DU'ers. I'm not one to tell everyone to throw away their TV sets. I have a TV, but I don't have cable and I am very picky about what I choose to watch.

I spend my time in books, music and nature. I refuse to let the ugliness cause my emotional well-being to be compromised.

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Response to llmart (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:05 PM

25. Thank you, Ilmart

I thank you for revealing some of your inner beliefs here.

Many have become so wary of speaking out through their keyboards. And for good reason.

Speaking truth online has become -- dare I say it -- virtually dangerous because of the evil in which the right wing/the Republican Party/and would-be tyrants among us will twist what we say.

Nonetheless, thank you for stating your heartfelt thoughts here. Whoever thought that speaking truth would invite the type of hatred that has become the norm in America?

Thank you for being courageous and speaking out, defying the tyranny that is descending upon us.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:25 PM

18. I've always loved John Denver and his music

When my kids were little there was a Christmas special on tv with John Denver and the Muppets- A Christmas Together. It was a lovely, fun show that we all enjoyed. It was on only a few times then hasn’t aired since through all of these years. We played the album every Christmas season. My kids are grown up now and I wanted to share the music from the show with my grands. I found a cd on ebay and ordered it-got it a couple of weeks ago. They love it!! I still love it!! Has a beautiful song called “When the River Meets the Sea” and “Alfies Song” that make me teary eyed. Of course there’s classic songs like The 12 Days of Christmas where Miss Piggy really shines! Lol! Good choice spending your morning listening to his fantastic music!

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:36 PM

19. I was jogging through the hills in SoCal with a friend decades ago

In a smallish treeless valley we saw a helicopter on the ground a distance away with a few people milling about. The trail went right by where they were and we speculated what was going on as made our way closer. We were about 50' from the group when I realized one of them was John Denver and about all I could do was wave and shout "Hello!" as we went by. He said hi back.

I still have the Rocky Mountain High album I bought in high school. Been a fan ever since...

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:56 PM

22. This is weird. Last night I was wondering what I could listen to that would be very calming.

And my very first thought was John Denver's music.

I absolutely adored the man, have most of his albums, and I saw him in concert more than anyone else.

My heart was, (and is,) still absolutely broken because of his death. But I am so glad his music lives on for all of us. It is so inspiring, so happy and so beautiful.

Thank you for your lovely post.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:57 PM

23. I think one of his most overlooked yet most beautiful songs was 'Rhymes and Reasons"

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:59 PM

24. I barely do DU's GD on the weekends.

I'll read and post if something big is going on, like the Charlottesville protest, etc. But I mostly stay away from politics on Sundays. I definitely skip MTP, etc. My weekends are much happier.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:21 PM

27. John Denver is one of my all time favorites.

I still mourn the way he died. Such a loss.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:30 PM

29. I met John Denver at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd when I worked there eons ago.

He wanted help in the international and blues section. I helped him for about a half hour and he was everything I imagined he would be. He was kind, sweet, gentle, inquisitive and funny. I was a little gobsmacked because I adored him as a child and here I was helping him.

There were tons of celebrities that came in. Some regularly but I found myself nervous and giddy around older celebrities like Armand Assante, John Denver, B.B. King, Bette Midler and Dennis Cole (who I had a major crush on from Charlie's Angels). I was weirdly and particularly bugged out by him.

One of the nicest celebs which took me by surprise since I wasn't a fan (not into modern country music) was Billy Ray Cyrus. He stopped in to sign merchandise and it was my first night as a shift manager and I didn't know what to do. I told him I couldn't just let him pull his posters and cd's to sign because they might need to be paid for so he bought everything he signed without skipping a beat. His crew that was with him were very accommodating as well and he spent time with the staff in the back room and customers out on the floor. He was there for over an hour meeting and greeting. Had a great sense of humor too.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:32 PM

30. I have only attended a few concerts but one was a Denver concert that started at midnight


It was 1974 when his music calmed folks before the Nixon impeachment

The coliseum was blistering hot, it was his 3rd concert of the day and I couldn't believe how professional he was when the clock struck midnight and he began.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:46 PM

31. I, too, have turned to John's music lately ...

As a teenager in the 70s I bought all of his albums. I saw him in concert many times, and even got to meet him once when I was VERY pregnant with my last child. He was nothing but kind, and we talked about listening to music while pregnant so the baby could hear. He sang "Dreamland Express" to her, before she was born. I cried when I learned he was gone, and have cried many times listening to his songs over the years. "Poems, Prayers and Promises" and "Rhymes and Reasons" are two of my favorites. Part of me is glad he is not here to witness what is happening. Part of me wishes he WERE here to help us deal with it. RIP, John Denver.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:51 PM

33. I've thought of Annie's Song as a prayer.

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Response to cab67 (Reply #33)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 05:31 PM

39. I'm a devout agnostic. But Annie's song fills me with

what can only be described as spirituality. It always brings tears to my eyes for my departed loved one.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:59 PM

34. I love JDs music and when I need some inspiration or alone time his music is where I turn

to. I have always thought of him as one of the first environmentalists. One of my first jobs was as a telephone operator and one Sunday when I was working an overseas call that Philippe Cousteau was trying make to contact his father, Jacques, came into my board. Philippe was living in the Seattle area at the time. During the many attempts to get the call through I struck up a conversation with Philippe. What a nice man, as well. Whales have always had a special place in my heart.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 03:26 PM

36. John Denver's Last Public Performance

Not the best video. But --> ?list=RDBN4AZtep4wQ

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 03:43 PM

37. I've been listening to this in my xmas compilation lately.

One of my favorites.....Christmas for Cowboys.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 07:11 PM

40. Thank you for this.

I had forgotten what an amazing artist and human being John was.
Many thanks for the reminder.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2019, 06:32 AM

42. He was supposed to be on the Challenger

But he got bumped at the last minute, I believe, for Christa McAuliffe. He worked really hard to get on the list, said if he was asked to be on the next Challenger type mission he would do it in a heartbeat. He had a passion for flying and he died piloting an experimental plane. He died doing what he loved.

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2019, 08:30 AM

44. My son is in middle school and one his favorite songs is Country Roads. He said a

teacher played it in class and he thought it was beautiful, although I'm sure he would never admit that in front of any of his classmates lol

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Response to Cyrano (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2019, 10:12 AM

45. Yeah, your post kind of choked me up a little, too.

John's death in the airplane crash really shocked and saddened me more than the death of any other cultural treasure.

His testimony in Congress on the subject of Tipper Gore's war on music lyrics was impressive. He was a perfect advocate for the speech freedoms that musicians need.

He was the perfect combination of 'think' and 'feel'.

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