As a kid, one of my favorite singers was John Denver. I was too young to think of him in these terms, but I’m sure he was one of my first crushes. This past Friday was the tenth anniversary of his death. He died in a plane crash on October 12, 1997. He was only 53 years old.

I heard “Annie’s Song” playing in Kroger yesterday, and it reminded me of how much I had loved him as a kid. I’ve been intending to get a copy of his greatest hits or something, and hearing him yesterday finally gave me the impetus to do so. So, I’ve been listening to his music while I’ve been working on an article (on something entirely unrelated).

What strikes me about him now, not having listened to his music for such a long time, is just how pure his voice sounds. I’m also impressed by how sincere his lyrics come across as he sings them. He reminds me of Kate Wolf, another great folk singer. Denver acted in movies, like Oh God, and appeared on numerous television shows, mostly notably The Muppets. But it’s his music that endures.

“Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and “Sunshine on My Shoulder” are all so iconic. Listening to them now definitely makes me nostalgic for the 1970s. I love his hair in some of these old videos!