Monday, February 8, 2010
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Leaving On A Jet Plane lyrics
All my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go,
I'm standing here,
Outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say Good Bye.
But the dawn is breakin', It's early morn`,
The taxi's waiting, blowin' his horn.
Already I'm so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me,
Tell me that you wait for me,
Hold me, like you never let me go.
Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane,
Don't know when I'll be back again,
Oh Babe I hate to go.
So many times, I let you down,
So many times, I played around,
but I tell you now, they don't mean a thing.
Every place I go, I'll think of you,
Every song I sing, I sing for you.
When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring.
Now the time has come to leave you,
One more time, let me kiss you,
Close your eyes and I'll be on my way.
Think about the days to come,
When I won't have you leave alone,
About the day, when I won't have to say,
John Denver (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997) was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the 1970s in terms of record sales, recording and releasing around 300 songs, of which about 200 were composed by him. He was named Poet Laureate of Colorado in 1977. Songs such as "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (1967), "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (1971), "Rocky Mountain High" (1972), "Sunshine on My Shoulders" (1973), "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (1974), "Annie's Song" (1974), and "Calypso" (1975) are popular worldwide. Denver has been referred to as "The Poet for the Planet", "Mother Nature's Son" (based on The Beatles song he covered) and "A Song's Best Friend".
Denver was born in Roswell, New Mexico as Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. to Erma Louise Swope and Henry John Deutschendorf, Sr., an Air Force officer and flight instructor of German ancestry. In his autobiography Take Me Home, Denver described his life as the eldest son of a family shaped by a stern father who could never show his love for his children. Denver's mother's family was Irish and German Catholic, and it was they who imbued Denver with a love of music.
Since Denver's father was in the military, the family moved often, making it hard for young John to make friends and fit in with people his own age. Constantly being the new kid was agony for the introverted youngster, and he grew up always feeling as if he should be somewhere else but never knowing where that "right" place was. Denver was happy living in Tucson, however his father was transferred to Montgomery, Alabama, then in the midst of the Montgomery boycotts. While living in Tucson, Denver was a member of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus for two years. The family later moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where Denver graduated from Arlington Heights High School. Attending high school in Fort Worth was a distressing experience for the alienated Denver. In his third year of high school, he took his father's car and ran away to California to visit family friends and pursue a musical career. His father flew to California to retrieve him, and he finished high school.
Denver was reared as a Presbyterian and converted to Lutheranism. He claimed that he also shared many beliefs with Zen Buddhists, as well as certain Yoga spiritual masters. He also felt he had a connection with the indigenous people of North America. For most of his adult life he was New Age in belief. The primary belief system behind the foundation Windstar that he co-founded with Tom Crum promotes a holistic approach to addressing environmental concerns. 
At the age of 12, Denver received a 1910 Gibson acoustic jazz guitar from his grandmother, learning to play well enough to perform at local clubs by the time he was in college. He adopted the surname "Denver" after the capital of his favorite state, when Randy Sparks suggested that "Deutschendorf" wouldn't fit comfortably on a marquee. He dropped out of the School of Engineering (Architecture) at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) in Lubbock, Texas in 1964, and moved to Los Angeles, California. Denver sang in the smoky underground folk clubs in Los Angeles, and in 1965 joined the Chad Mitchell Trio, a folk group that had been renamed "The Mitchell Trio" prior to Chad Mitchell's departure and before Denver's arrival, and then "Denver, Boise, and Johnson" (John Denver, David Boise and Michael Johnson).
In 1969, Denver abandoned the band life to pursue a solo career, and released his first album for RCA Records, Rhymes and Reasons. It was not a huge hit, but it contained "Leaving on a Jet Plane", which was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary two years prior when Mitchell Trio manager Milt Okun had brought the unrecorded Denver song to the high profile folk group. Soon after the John Denver version was released, the Peter, Paul and Mary version hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. 
Although RCA did not actively promote the album with a tour, Denver himself embarked on an impromptu supporting tour throughout the Midwest, stopping at towns and cities as the fashion took him, offering to play free concerts at local venues. When he was successful in convincing a school, college, American Legion Hall or local coffeehouse to let him play, he would spend a day or so postering the town, and could usually be counted to show up at the local radio station, guitar in hand, offering himself for an interview. With the foot in the door of having authored "Leaving on a Jet Plane", he was often successful in gaining some valuable promotional airtime, usually featuring one or two songs performed live. Some venues would let him play for the "door"; others restricted him to selling copies of the album at intermission and after the show. After several months of this constant low-key touring schedule, however, he had sold enough albums to convince RCA to take a chance on extending his recording contract. He had also built a sizable and solid fan base, many of whom remained loyal throughout his career.
Denver recorded two more albums in 1970, Whose Garden Was This? and Take Me to Tomorrow, featuring songs he had composed while driving the roads of the American Midwest. Although these albums were not as successful as those that followed, they would all be certified gold by the RIAA, and would later be considered some of his best work.
His next album, Poems, Prayers and Promises (released in 1971) was a breakthrough for him in the U.S., thanks in part to the single "Take Me Home, Country Roads", which went to number two on the Billboard charts despite the first pressings of the track being distorted. Its success was in part due to the efforts of his new manager, future Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub, who signed Denver in 1970. Weintraub insisted on a re-issue of the track and began a radio-airplay campaign that began in Denver, Colorado. Denver's career flourished from then on, and he had a series of hits over the next four years. In 1972, Denver scored his first Top Ten album with Rocky Mountain High, with its title track reaching the Top Ten in 1973. Between 1974 and 1975 Denver experienced an impressive chart dominance, with a string of four #1 songs ("Sunshine on My Shoulders", "Annie's Song", "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", and "I'm Sorry") and three #1 albums John Denver's Greatest Hits, Back Home Again and Windsong).
In the pre-MTV era of the 1970s, with his long blond hair, embroidered shirts emblazened with images commonly associated with the American West (created by designer & applique artist Anna Zapp), affable manner and "granny" glasses, Denver became one of the first truly telegenic pop stars. His manager, Jerry Weintraub, insisted on these appearances (including a series of half-hour shows in England, despite Denver's then-protestations that "I've had no success in Britain... I mean none.") Weintraub explained to Maureen Orth of Newsweek in December 1976, "I knew the critics would never go for John. I had to get him to the people."