John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.), a folk/country singer and songwriter was born on December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. His father was active in the military so John lived in many different places during his childhood. His grandma gave him his first guitar at the age of 11 and by the time he was in high school, he ran away from his Texas home to California to start his music career.
After his father brought him back home, he finished high school and went off to Texas Tech University to study engineering. He dropped out of school in 1963 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music where he played in local clubs and bars. Over the years, he was a part of several different bands but eventually came to a point where he decided to start his solo career. His song, “Take Me Home, Country Road,” hit #2 on the Billboard charts and thus his successful career took off. His song, “Rocky Mountain High,” was named one of Colorado’s official state songs in honor of Denver’s love for the state. Denver also received 3 AMA awards, 1 ACM award, 2 CMA awards, 1 Emmy award, 2 Grammy awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996.