Singer-songwriter John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., on December 31, 1943, in Roswell, New Mexico, to parents Henry John and Erma. As a teenager, Denver received his first guitar, a 1910 Gibson acoustic, as a gift from his grandmother. He attended Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) from 1961-64, but dropped out before completing his studies. In 1965, after traveling to New York City and successfully auditioning for the Chad Mitchell Trio, he began performing with the group until 1968.

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