Where Does Musical Genius Come From?

Like myself, John Denver was born in New Mexico and lived much of his life in Colorado. He wrote this song in ten minutes, while riding up a chair lift 40 years ago.

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28 Responses to Where Does Musical Genius Come From?

  1. bigdave1583 says:

    OMG I love John Denver!! And I love this song!!! 🙂

  2. Sparks says:

    Forty more years to you mate. ya olde shyte! 🙂

  3. Scott Scarborough says:

    Rocky Mountain high. Don’t know how to fly.

  4. Jerry Gorline says:

    My wife dragged me to a John Denver concert in Louisville, KY, back in the 80’s. I became a fan immediately. John had such a powerful voice, he didn’t need a microphone. All the Best.

  5. Andy DC says:

    Like so many other music greats, he was gone way too early.

  6. gator69 says:

    True musical ability is a gift. I have an associates degree in vocal performance, and spent many nights on stage in my younger days. But the truly gifted were those musicians around me who could pick up a new instrument, and within hours play it successfully. I tinkered with guitar and piano, but realized my talents could not compete with the truly musically gifted, and I got a day job. 😉

    I still have my John Denver song book, my guitar, and my many great memories.

  7. This is poignant for me at the moment. My Lady Anne and I always considered this “her song” — and we attended John Denver’s last concert tour. I bough a piano so that I could learn to play this song for her.

    John Denver struggled with relationships, as many of his songs attest. But my Lady and I were deeply in love, and tremendously enjoying life despite challenges from outside.

    My wife Anne died two weeks ago, suddenly, of a heart attack. There was no warning. And I am lost.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • Have sure faith that you are not alone, death is not the end, and she wants you to be well and happy. You will see some sign of this, piercing and healing to your wounded heart, I know, if you keep your mind open to it.

    • David A says:

      @ Keith, My thoughts and sincere best wishes are with you concerning your great loss. I deeply appreciate your insights, and honest gentle way of presenting truly rational thought.

    • Gail Combs says:

      My Condolences Keith,

      However take some comfort from the fact she did not go through a long drawn out and painful illness. I have lost friends and family from both sudden death and cancer. It is the price we pay for living long lives and being humans with memories.

    • gator69 says:

      Keith, I am so very saddened to hear of your great loss. There are no words in any language powerful enough to ease your pain, so I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong, and know that you you are loved.

    • I’m very sorry to hear that. My father in law died last month of a similar heart attack, and it is difficult,

    • kbray in california says:

      Keith, this is very sad to hear and a profound loss.
      I understand when you say “I am lost.”
      I suggest connecting with others who have gone through the same thing.
      Try: http://www.griefshare.org/ to find a local support group.
      You must stay connected socially for your mental well being.
      My condolences to you and your family.

    • NikFromNYC says:

      At least she didn’t suddenly divorce you, out of the blue, like happens to half of married men.

    • Jason Calley says:

      Keith, I am so sorry. There is no consolation for the death of someone we love. I do not know whether you have children or relatives with whom to share your grief. I can, at least, tell you that there are many people out here in the digital world who consider you a compatriot and a friend. All of us who think of you that way send our deepest regrets, and while we have no way of stopping your sorrow, we hope that you will find some way of making the sadness bearable.

    • Thank you, my friends. I appreciate your kind thoughts.

      Here is a bit more of the story, if you’re interested:

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  8. I had forgotten how he died. Be sure to locate your fuel knobs where you can get to them. http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/d/John%20Denver/john_denver.htm

  9. Gail Combs says:

    You guys with at least some musical talent are lucky. I am not quite tone deaf and it means I am also horrible at languages.

    For us Cavers “Country Roads” is THE SONG. It was morphed into “Caving Roads” by caving filk singers. West Virgina is caver heaven BTW.

    • gator69 says:

      WV may be caver Heaven, but Missouri is ‘The Cave State’, with more known caves than any other state in the union. I was fortunate enough to experience both in my youth, and did a lot of spelunking, for fun and for my geology studies. When ‘Country Roads’ hit the charts, my family had just bought acreage on the Hawksbill Creek near Luray, Virginia. We had our own cave and I immediately identified with that bespectacled young man with the guitar.

      After all these years, a country road literally and figuratively still takes me home, where I belong.

      • Gail Combs says:

        Yes that song is very powerful. Nice to know there is another caver in the group.

        One of my most interesting memories is being in a cave in Indiana when an earthquake hit. I actually got to see the bedding planes slide in relationship to each other without getting killed.

        • Jason Calley says:

          One more long time caver here…40 plus years, though time and health have prevented me from doing much that way in the last 10 years or so. Most of it done around TAG, but you would be surprised what Florida has to offer.

          “I actually got to see the bedding planes slide in relationship to each other without getting killed.”

          Whoa! OK! I am impressed! That experience is not one on my bucket list!

          Worst experience for me? I once led a trip to the back of the longest cave in Florida, Warren Cave. It may not sound like much… but is is the tightest passage, worst crawling, longest periods without even being able to even sit upright that can be imagined.

          Best experience? Briar Cave, Ocala, Florida. Swimming in crystal clear water (in boots, pack and helmet, of course) through white limestone tunnels, walls festooned with fossils like mushrooms on every surface. Ear dipping through the top of the aquifer.

        • gator69 says:

          Hey Jason! I can’t top the earthquake story either, and am pleased about that. There is a cave south of me that was privately owned when I was a younger man, and I was among the first to map it. We mapped nearly 7 miles of passages 30 years ago, and on a return visit with a friend, we (he) decided we wanted to go as far back in the main passage as possible. I made sure we followed all the rules (multiple light sources, etc) and yet we still nearly ran out of light. For several long miles we took turns turning off our flashlights to double our illumination time. That was too close.

          Sadly that cave is now run by the state, and is indefinitely closed due to White Nose Syndrome, which of course they blame us for.

          And as for Florida, my father was a 7th generation Floridian whose family settled the area north of Ocala. I have spent alot of time diving in the many springs found there. The locals call it the ‘Real Florida’. Mom works at “The Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology” in Ocala”, and many of their exhibits were found in those springs.

  10. Gamecock says:

    Lot’s of personal links in this thread.

    I knew Toy and Tommy Caldwell, Archie Jordan, and some other less well known music writers. As my upbringing was similar to theirs, and I played piano and cornet in my HS band, I wondered what made them different. I never did figure it out. They were just different.

    I lost my first wife, The Good One, 28 years ago. I wish I could help you, Keith, but I can’t. There is nothing so personal as grieving a lost wife.

    My mother was born in Edmond, WV, and lived in Lansing until 1938. They built the New River Gorge Bridge from Fayetteville to Lansing 40 years after she moved away. Perhaps the most interesting thing she told me about the area in that period was that people were terrified of the river. Cold and currents killed somebody every year. Yet, now, the river seems to be their biggest industry.

    I’ve got a wax copy of John Denver’s Greatest Hits around here somewhere. Just no turntable to play it on anymore. Someday, I’ll get one of those A to D turntables and copy it, as well as all my other albums. Someday.

  11. The first time I heard this song I was with my Grandfather in 1974(?) away on a fishing trip. He left me four years later. Since then whenever I hear or play this song I think of him. John Denver ceases to amaze me with his voice, lyrics, music and ability to create emotion from his songs! I’ll play this song many times today. Thanks for the post(s) Steve!

  12. I think musical genius comes from Texas.

  13. Ken says:

    When I was a kid, my brother bought a rusted out 49 mercury convertible for $30. It sounde a lot like this “song”. This is anti-music. The lead singer is the Michael Mann of rock n roll.

  14. Ken says:

    Obviously, I replied in the wrong place. I was speaking of the “band” in the previous post.

    I think John Denver was great. I have been playing guitar and singing since 1964. I am not bad, but I am not John Denver. His was a rare talent.

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