Thursday, March 10, 2011

The KSO’s Pops series will showcase the talents of Jim Curry, who channels John Denver with his smooth voice and tasteful arrangements. John Denver’s songs will seem to sing themselves on Saturday night at the Civic Auditorium at 8.

A visit to Wikipedia to learn about John Denver can be truly enlightening. I was struck by the variety of pursuits he endeavored. As well as being a fine singer/songwriter and the Poet Laureate of the state of Colorado, he was an avid flyer, skier, photographer and writer. His death in 1997 in an experimental plane off the California coast shocked the world, but ironically he was a finalist to be the first civilian to fly on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Christa MacAuliffe was chosen. I had forgotten this, but he was also a skiing commentator for ABC at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, for which he also composed and sang the theme song, entitled The Gold and Beyond. AND, His first wife hails from St. Peter, Minn., which is my wife’s home town.

I best remember John Denver in the movie Oh, God! wherein George Burns (as God) enlists him to tell the world that He is not dead. I never would have thought of him as an actor, but I saw it and it’s one of those movies that you might want to see. It’s dated-ness would be very charming, but when all is said and done you can’t go wrong with George Burns. Back in the day I liked a couple of his songs very much; Sunshine and Thank God I’m a Country Boy. When I was growing up there was a huge rivalry between fans of his and fans of Jim Croce, who had a very different voice but whose music was quite similar. There was no bridging that gap; you were either with or “agin” Mr. Denver.

Regretfully, I must sign off here. I am off early with the KSO to play Young People’s Concerts at Greeneville’s Niswonger Performing Arts Center. REALLY early.

No comments: