Friday, October 21, 2016

Fired-Up Friday


Songs to Write By.

Nineteen years ago this month the world lost a man who through his music had sought to lift us to better places. On October 12, 1997, singer, songwriter, actor and activist John Denver died when his experimental aircraft crashed off the coast of California. He was 53. To say I was devastated that day is an understatement beyond measure. John’s music had filled my house and my car throughout much of the 1970’s. Once, I was lucky enough to see him in concert. It seemed he had a song for whatever ailed you, and whether or not you loved the American West as he did, you couldn’t help but sing along with Rocky Mountain High.
As it is with many creative and driven people, John was not without his problems. He struggled with sobriety, drug use, and his personal life included two divorces. But there was no sweeter song than the one he sang to his little boy at Christmas. It never failed to make me cry. While he struggled to find his place in the music world, he was a most beloved entertainer and in 1975 was named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.

John was an activist for the environment, a conservationist for the mountains he so loved, and a humanitarian for the many causes he supported. He had an interest in finding solutions to solving world hunger and developing sustainability projects. One can only wonder, if he’d lived, how he might have made an even more important difference in the world today. Sadly, it was his very drive to always try something new that led to his untimely death.

I still have my many John Denver albums and looking back at the songs I listened to by the hour back then, some of my favorites were these:

If I needed uplifting, Welcome to My Morning, Calypso, and Take Me to Tomorrow.

If I was feeling bittersweet: Poems, Prayers, and Promises and Leaving on a Jet Plane.

Flat out sad: Darcy Farrow and I’m Sorry.

Thinking about home and family: Take Me Home, Country Roads and Back Home Again.

His most unabashedly romantic song was Annie’s Song, written for his first wife after they had argued.
Today I find myself listening to his Windsong album with its songs like Cowboy’s Delight and the even more appropriate (for the book I’m writing) Song of Wyoming. They’re sweet songs, they’re sad songs, and they take me back to sagebrush in the wind and the shadows of mountains in the distance. Take a listen and then maybe go search out the box of Puffs.




Thank you John Denver for giving us songs that continue to inspire and for giving me songs to write by.

 



 

 


7 comments:

Loralee said...

Such a lovely post of mrmories, Lucy. John Denver's music is unique because he deeplyloved the land and the people he wrote about.His songs are still sung and still missed.

Loralee said...

Such a lovely post of mrmories, Lucy. John Denver's music is unique because he deeplyloved the land and the people he wrote about.His songs are still sung and still missed.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

Another song I forgot to mention was one that started out, "Had an uncle named of Matthew. Was his father's only boy." That one really makes me cry because it reminds me so much of my favorite uncle who passed nearly 41 years ago. I get really blubbery on that one, lol!

Diane O'Brien said...

He was one of the great ones. How lucky we are to have grown up listening to the music of our time that young people also appreciate today. Thank you for taking me back down those country roads.

Diane O'Brien said...

He was one of the great ones. How lucky we are to have grown up listening to the music of our time that young people also appreciate today. Thank you for taking me back down those country roads.

Diane Burton said...

A great post, Lucy. Such wonderful memories of a great singer/songwriter. He had such a gift. Too bad his life was cut short. Love the pictures you included.

Lucy Kubash said...

Thanks Diane and Diane ! He truly was one of a kind.