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Posts Tagged ‘John Denver’

Died On This Date (January 25, 2012) Dick Kniss / Bassist For Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver

Posted by themusicsover on January 25, 2012

Dick Kniss
DOB Unknown – January 25, 2012

Dick Kniss was a talented bassist who is best remembered for his tenure with both singer-songwriter, John Denver,  and legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, with whom he played for the better part of 50 years.  As a member of Denver’s first band during the ’70s, Kniss co-wrote one of his biggest hits, “Sunshine On My Shoulder.”  The list of artists he also worked with includes jazz luminaries Woody Herman and Herbie Hancock.  Dick Kniss died of pulmonary disease on January 25, 2012.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (January 20, 2012) Larry Butler / Successful Country Musician & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on January 20, 2012

Larry Butler
March 26, 1942 – January 20, 2012

Larry Butler was a respected Nashville producer who, over the course of his career, helped create hits for the likes of Dottie West, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, and Kim Carnes.  A gifted pianist and singer as well, Butler was just 6 years old when he launched his career with a performance  with the Harry James Orchestra.  Born in Florida, Butler moved to Nashville in 1963 to find work as a session player.  Before he knew it, his stellar piano playing was being featured on records by such country luminaries as Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette, to name just a few. By the early ’70s, Butler was the head of United Artists’ Nashville division and producing some of the era’s greatest records.   In fact, it was Butler who partnered Kenny Rogers with Dottie West to record some of the greatest country duets in history.  But it was Rogers alone who he had the most success with.  Hits like “Coward Of The County,” “The Gambler,” “She Believes In Me,” and “Lucille” all had Butler at the helm.  To this day, Butler remains the only Nashville producer to be awarded the Grammy for Producer of the Year.  Larry Butler died of natural causes on January 20, 2012.  He was 69.

Posted in Country, Musician, Producer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (April 8, 2011) Roger Nichols / Producer & Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols
September 22, 1944 – April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols was a respected producer and recording engineer who over the course of his career, accumulated seven Grammys.  Most closely associated with Steely Dan, Nichols also worked with the likes of John Denver, the Beach Boys, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, and Diana Ross, to name just a few.  Raised in Southern California, Nichols went to high school with Zappa with whom he made his earliest tapes.  After graduating from college where he studied nuclear physics, Nichols first found work has a nuclear operator at the San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego.  But in the mid ’60s he moved back over to music and opened his own recording studio.  In 1970, he went to work for ABC Dunhill Records where he met Walter Becker and Donald Fagen who were hired writers for the label.  Within a year, Nichols was behind the board for the birth of Becker’s and Fagen’s group, Steely Dan.  He would go on to engineer such landmark albums as their Pretzel Logic, Aja, Countdown To Ecstasy, and Gaucho.  He earned Grammys for his work on Aja, Gaucho, Two Against Nature, FM, and John Denver’s All Aboard!.  Roger Nichols was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2010, and died from it on April 8, 2011.  He was 66.

Posted in Engineer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (October 26, 1999) Hoyt Axton / Country Music Icon & Actor

Posted by themusicsover on October 26, 2009

Hoyt Axton
March 25, 1938 – October 26, 1999

AXTONHoyt Axton was country singer songwriter and actor who came to prominence as a folk singer in the ’60s and then again as country singer in the ’70s.  Even though he released several successful albums and acted in and performed on numerous television shows and films, it was Axton’s skills as a songwriter that separated him from the pack.  Over the years, his songs were made into hits by the likes of Ringo Starr (“No-No Song”) Steppenwolf (“The Pusher”) and of course, Three Dog Night (“Never Been To Spain” and most famously, “Joy to the World” aka “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”).  His songs have also been covered by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and John Denver.  Axton, 61, died of a heart attack on October 26, 1999.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (October 12, 1997) John Denver / Popular ’70s Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on October 12, 2009

John Denver (Born Henry Deutschendorf)
December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997

John Denver was an American folk rock singer-songwriter who released several pop hits during the ’70s.  His 300-strong catalog of popular songs included “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Annie’s Song,” and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and “Sunshine on My Shoulder.”  Denver also had a strong presence on television and film during the height of his career.  He was featured in a handful of Muppet specials, hosted the Grammy’s five times, and sat in for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show several times. In 1977, he starred alongside George Burns in the popular comedy, Oh God!.    In later years, Denver devoted most of his time to various humanitarian causes.  He was also a licensed pilot and flying enthusiast.  On October 12, 1997, John Denver died when the experimental aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after take off from a Central California coast airport.   Witnesses say the plane made a sudden dive into the ocean, leading experts to conclude that he likely accidentally pushed the right rudder pedal while maneuvering in the seat.  Denver was 53 when he died.

What You Should Own

Click to find at

The Country Roads Collection - John Denver

Posted in Country, Folk, Musician, Pop, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »