John Denver to Join Colorado Music Hall of Fame
Country and pop legend John Denver will be posthumously honored with induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in Broomfield, Colo., on April 21. The date, which falls on the eve of Earth Day, is especially appropriate for Denver's induction as he was an outspoken advocate for the environment throughout his life. The event, hosted by Olivia Newton-John, will be a benefit concert celebrating his music and life. John Denver died in October 1997, when the plane he was piloting crashed into Monterey Bay, off the coast of California.
Joining Olivia for the event will be the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Ann Womack and John Oates. Denver's hits will also be performed by his former band collaborators Bill Danoff (Starland Vocal Band), who co-wrote 'Take Me Home, Country Roads,' and John Sommers, who wrote 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy.'
Lee Holdridge, who conducted orchestras for Denver, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, will lead the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in a special tribute performance. Others on the program include painter Brian Olsen, who will create a portrait of John while the artists are performing his songs.
Induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame is fitting for the singer-songwriter as he was associated with the area from early in his career, with tunes such as 'Rocky Mountain High' and 'Yellowstone, I'm Coming Home." After the success of 'Rocky Mountain High' in 1973, Denver (who was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) purchased and maintained a home in Colorado for the remainder of his life. He was named Poet Laureate of Colorado in 1977.
Part of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the Cousteau Society, the Windstar Foundation and the University of Colorado's School of Music.
The Hall of Fame will be revealing details of a permanent exhibition, which is currently being assembled with the help of the John Denver estate. The exhibition will encompass Denver's musical legacy as well as his interests and accomplishments.