An Evening With Olivia Remembering John

John Denver painting displayed at his induction into the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

On Thursday night I was treated to a concert featuring two of my favorite artists of my teen years.  Olivia Newton-John hosted an evening of song and memories of John Denver, as part of Denver’s posthumous induction into the newly formed Colorado Music Hall Of Fame.

I was never much into music as a teen in the early 70’s.  Until I heard the sweet sounds of Olivia Newton-John and her first hit, “Let Me Be There”.  I sneaked off to the record store to buy Olivia’s album.  Soon after I bought my second album, John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High.  Growing up in Colorado I loved Denver’s songs about the beauty of my home state, and inspiring lyrics of his other songs.

Being a fan of Olivia Newton-John and John Denver in the early 70’s was definitely not cool!  I remember hiding the albums in my room, not wanting my older brother to discover them, for fear of being teased.  I kept my music tastes to myself, not sharing them with my friends, who were more into the rock artists of the day.

Thirty seven years later I finally got to see Olivia Newton-John in person as the MC of a program celebrating the music of John Denver.  Olivia sang, as did the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Murphy, John Oates, Lee Ann Womack, and others.  It was an emotional night, capped by a video of John Denver singing “Annie’s Song” with Annie Denver then coming out and talking about how John wrote the song and what it meant to her.

John Denver’s music is still impacting people.  Like Elvis he seems more popular now than he was in the last few years of his life.  This quote from John Denver, read last night, summed up the feeling of the audience:

“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”

This entry was posted in music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to An Evening With Olivia Remembering John

  1. Chris Koerner says:

    Came from Wisconsin just for this awesome concert. Just walking into the facility that night and seeing John’s face up on the stage brought tears to my eyes. I was so emotional, and as I knew I missed him, I really miss him more than ever. All that he stood for, the ocean, the earth, mankind, you name it he was so involved.
    The music was awesome, I just loved seeing Olivia and Annie, John’s children and his former band members. All that participated, John Oates etc… really loved John’s music. I am so happy I made it to this night of John Denver admiration and induction into the Colorado Hall of Fame. Thank you!

  2. Tim Larison says:

    Chris thanks for adding your comment. You beautifully summed up what John Denver was all about. I was fortunate to see his concert at Red Rocks in 1974. That night was magical, as was Thursday night’s memorial concert. I am glad you were able to attend, and wish that all John Denver fans could have been there.

  3. Kerri says:

    Love this. Music is so incredibly powerful, especially when it brings us back to a special time in our lives. Thanks for sharing your special time and for coming out as a fan of ONJ. :-)

    • Tim Larison says:

      Thanks Kerri. I still have that Olivia Newton-John album I bought as a teen in the early 70’s (pictured below). Before she went “blonde” :-)

  4. Jon Johnson says:

    We possibly could have traveled the far-out-est to get to this awesome show. I have been married for 30+ years to the consumate John Denver fan, and fittingly, I and our 2 children have grown to love his music and life’s work. I surprised my wife on Monday before we left on Wednesday with the concert tickets-in-hand, plane tickets, car rental, and hotel. The timing was great for us: she is still teaching and her spring break was the week of the concert. We drove 150+ miles from western North Carolina to Atlanta and then flew 1200 miles to the Denver Airport. Everywhere we went in and around Denver, the people were the greatest. Our only regret was that there wasn’t a printed program with all the participants listed; and no mention of a DVD to be published. Please advise if either is available. At 61 years young, this was the “far-out-est” I have been in about 40 years.

    • Tim Larison says:

      Jon –

      I haven’t heard any word of a DVD being available for the concert (or a printed program). It was a great night! Thanks for telling your story of coming from North Carolina to attend. – Tim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *