Upon thinking about blog topics for this weekend's John Denver concerts with Jim Curry and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, I decided there's really no need to re-invent the wheel. My good friend Bob Schultz blogged last summer about his family's affection for John Denver's music. So, allow me to re-post below, and let's go down that country road again.
Ahhh, a Rocky Mountain High once again! My wife Diane and I can still remember when we heard the tragic news of John Denver's death on Oct. 12, 1997. For us, it was the day the music died.
JD was much more that that folksy singer/songwriter with a goofy smile and twangy voice singing "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." We were first introduced to the music of the man while working at CYO Camp in Brown County, Indiana back in the '80s. His music inspired me to take up guitar; to learn how to play "Eagle and The Hawk"; to fall in love. Later, when Diane was working on the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation in Hays, MT, John Denver filmed his annual Christmas show there. Not too much later, "Annie's Song" was played and sung by my Colorado and now-deceased brother Rick on Diane's and my wedding day.
From then on, each time JD made an Indy visit, we'd gather our camp friends, head to Market Square Arena or Deer Creek and sing along to every song. Then, as our three kids were born -- each was "given" their own JD tune that became their lullaby. Although his death has created a significant void, JD's music survives. (In fact, our missionary friend Patrick says that "Country Roads" is played more in European and Asian countries than any other American song.)
So -- we'll be there, with our kids and friend this weekend thanks to the incredibly talented Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the look-alike, sound-alike Jim Curry. We'll be singing along, remembering days gone by and introducing true American classics to the next generation. And I'm so pleased to know that JD's music is still alive and well at that same CYO Camp where our kids now go.
Take me home, country roads!
~by Bob Schultz, communications professional, proud Indianapolis resident and enthusiastic Symphony patron.
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