Artists   >   D   >  John Denver
John Denver

John Denver

Fact Sheet

OccupationSinger, Songwriter  
Birthday31 December 1943
Birthplace  USA
Date of deathOctober 12, 1997 (age 53)
John Denver, born Henry John Deutschendorf, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and sometimes actor.


Denver had a successful singing and songwriting career, and a minor career as an actor—his most notable film credit being in 1977's Oh, God! opposite George Burns. In 1994 Denver wrote an autobiography entitled Take Me Home. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico, lived most of his adult life in Aspen, Colorado and died off the coast of Monterey, California while piloting a Rutan "Long Ez", an experimental glassfiber private plane. Denver's plane had the fuel tank alternator switch located behind his seat and it is believed he lost control while trying to engage the secondary fuel tank.

Denver was recognized not only for his musical ability but also for his humanitarian work. He worked extensively on conservation projects and helped to create the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. He also founded his own environmental group called the Windstar Foundation. Denver had a keen interest in the causes of and solution to hunger, and visited Africa during the 1980s to witness first-hand the suffering caused by starvation and also to work with African leaders towards a solution.

After an enjoyable experience as a guest on The Muppet Show, he recorded two Muppets television specials: John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979) and John Denver and the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday (1982).

Related Artists

Denver started his recording career with the Chad Mitchell Trio; his distinctive voice can be heard where he sings solo on Violets of Dawn. He recorded three albums with the Mitchell Trio, replacing Chad Mitchell himself as lead singer. His group Denver, Boise and Johnson released a single before he moved on to a solo career.

Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert appeared as singers and songwriters on many of Denver's albums up until forming the Starland Vocal Band in 1976. The band's albums were released on Denver's Windstar label.

Denver's early solo success was largely due to a recording of his Leaving, on a Jet Plane which was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. It became a number 1 hit for the group.

Denver recorded songs by Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson, David Mallet, and many others in the folk scene.