Finding new recordings of old concerts by John Denver are getting harder to find. It's apparent that a lot of people recorded John in the early days, but few of those recordings remain. So when an eBay item comes up that says ‘tape recording of John Denver from 1971’, you have my attention.
It was a reel to reel tape and the individual listing it had not listened to it. The tape came from a collection of a Los Angeles radio broadcaster, Will Thornbury (now deceased) who's hobby was documenting all kinds of live broadcasts, mostly jazz but some rock and pop. Some were taped at the station and some on his home equipment. I thought it was worth the risk, so I bought it. I don’t have a reel to reel player, so I enlisted the help of John Marlowe and Cindy McArthur and we got it converted to digital. The quality was better than I had hoped.
It was recorded on September 1, 1971 and broadcast the following day on KDAY radio station AM 1580.
It is interesting to listen to the stories, particularly the introduction to Take Me Home, Country Roads as it was the number one song in the U.S. at that time. Also, the tape has the only known recording of John singing Tom Paxton's I Lost My Heart On a 747.
Kick back, close your eyes and listen to a small bit of musical history at the Troubadour. Enjoy!