In A Sleepy Blue Ocean
Mr. Denver was a very outwardly positive soul and he usually only showed the public that side. Privately he struggled with his fame, fortune and marriages. He had three children. Two were adopted Zachary and Anna Kate. His third child was brought into the world in the ususal way as we all are but this was unique because John was told he could not produce children. Jesse Belle was a miracle baby. Zachary and Anna Kate are in their thirtys and Jesse Belle is 20 years old.
Dear old dad started learning to play the Guitar when his Grandmother gave him the fated instrument when he was living with her in Tucson at the age of 12. Tucson is no stranger to celebrity. John Deutchendorf changed his name to John Denver after the place his parents were living. As a child they would often take solace at a family farm in Oklahoma. John having traveled all over the United States, because of his father being in the U. S. Air Force, gained experience and appreciation for the rich homeland we all share. Perhaps it gave perspective for him to write and play to an audience.
Mr. Denver was a Rocky Mountain High, environmental type of guy. While in his prime musically, most people would not admit that they listened to his music even though most people did. He was considered by himself and the world to be the true Mother Nature’s Son.
He loved the high country, the oceans, the sunshine and storms in the desert. (His only reference we know of that indicates Arizona ties... Monsoons in Tucson in the Summer can be treacherous yet awe inspiring at the same time with winds,thunder,lightning and sheets of rain.) The after taste and smell in the air is inspiring.
John Denver loved the works of Jacques Cousteau and wrote a song of his sea faring vessel named Calypso. Certainly John and Jaques shared similar loves for the sea and its creatures. Jacque studied it and John sang about it.
He related to the country and sang and wrote songs about being a country boy. "Country roads take me home to the place I belong,..." spoke to us all.
Annie’s Song filed the hearts of every woman who was loved by a man. This song is a treasure forever. The lyrics start with, "You fill up my senses like a night in a forest," From this point you are captured in the love song. "Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain." "Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean,
You fill up my senses, come fill me again."
This song was dedicated to his first wife while still married. Annie and John became good friends after their divorce. His second marriage ended bitterly but John was an idealist and a huge romanticist. Everything was going to get better, all the time. He was in denial about his own human nature and the ills that plagued him personally. Yet he was loved by millions around the world.
John Denver loved to fly. He was a pilot with thousands of hours logged in flight. He was test flying a small aircraft called the Long EZ which crashed into the ocean near Pacific Grove, California. He died in the crash on October 12th, 1997. It is yet a mystery as to what exactly caused the crash. He was only 53.
The earth never had a better poet. Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., we called him John Denver. He loved and appreciated beautiful things in other people. He wanted to share those things in song. His standards were high in appreciation for "good" expressions as captured in all music. He loved the music of the Carpenters and sang with them on television specials. He loved his Children and both of his ex-wives and he truly loved the people who connected with him.
If you were in Los Angeles or Chicago driving and you heard a John Denver song on the radio, Like "Gandma's Feather Bed" you might change the station. But if you were in the mountains in Cascade Springs Utah or Lake Tahoe hiking, you would crave the songs of the Rocky Mountain High. His music makes you feel close to nature in a simple and pleasing way.
John was considered by many, to be a Country/Western singer. "Calypso" or "Sunshine on my Shoulders" not really Country Western songs. His songs were ballads of the beauty's we forget to look for and become close too. John made them popular with his own creative acumen. "I'm Sorry" might count for country music as well as the others that depict country settings. His famous Christmas album with the Muppets is still selling strongly 30 years after the show was produced.
But he was more than just a one genre singer. His songs were created and sung and played from the heart. If he could, he would most likely tell you that life is “far out”. And so it is.
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