John Denver To Get Posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame [Video]

John Denver

The American singing icon and former poet laureate of Colorado, John Denver, will be posthumously honored 17 years after his death with the installation of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony will be on Friday, Oct. 24 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard and will stream live on WalkofFame.com.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. on New Year’s Eve of 1944, the man decided to change his name after Randy Sparks of The New Christy Minstrels told him that “Deutschendorf” was too long for a theater marquee. Present at the much-overdue ceremony will be the star’s children, Jesse Belle Denver and Zak Deutschendorf.

john denver
Jesse Belle Denver

The Hollywood ceremony coincides with the release of All Of My Memories: The John Denver Collection CD boxed set as well as an exhibition of his photography at Hollywood’s Substrate Gallery. An acoustic version of the singer’s second United States number-one song, “Annie’s Song,” will be performed by Trampled by Turtles.

The four-CD boxed set, which is scheduled for release Nov. 4, includes 90 songs. It will be the first all-inclusive overview of his work, spanning the years from 1964 to 1997. Guests are said to include Olivia Newton-John, the Muppets, Placido Domingo, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Emmylou Harris.

A star for the singer is not a new idea. It was over 30 years ago, in 1982, that his manager paid $3,000 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the star’s placement. That organization reportedly waited for Denver to schedule a date for the ceremony but it never happened. Then, on Oct. 12, 1997, Denver was killed at age of 53 when his Experimental category aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean off northern California’s Point Pinos. Denver had logged more than 2,700 flight experience hours and held ratings for single-engine land and sea, multi-engine land, glider and instrument. He also was also rated for his Learjet.

An autopsy revealed no trace of drugs or alcohol. An investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board blamed the accident on the unusual and awkward location of the handle used to change fuel tanks during flight. Investigators said that the unorthodox position of the fuel selector valve – which was non-standard for the Rutan Long-EZ aircraft – required the singer to turn 90 degrees to reach the valve. It was then assumed that he would have tried to support himself by pushing his right foot against the right rudder pedal, thus quickly forcing the airplane to move off course and pitch up.

Denver was also a talented photographer. The exhibition of his images, Sweet, Sweet Life: The Photographic Works of John Denver, will display more than 40 never-before-seen photographs taken during his world travels and reportedly highlight his personal advocacy of love, peace and Earth conservation. The Oct. 24 to Nov. 23 exhibition will also make certain limited edition prints available for purchase. The star’s estate said on its website, JohnDenver.com, that the presentation will be “a rare and unique look into the artist’s life, mind and heart!”

In addition to Annie’s Song, the singer was also known for Sunshine on My Shoulder, Take Me Home, Country Roads and Leaving on a Jet Plane. His will be the 2,531st star to be placed on the famous Hollywood Walk of Stars.

By Gregory Baskin

Sources:
ABC News Radio
Reading Eagle / Reading Times
Yahoo 7 News
John Denver Estate
National Transportation Safety Board

11 Responses to "John Denver To Get Posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame [Video]"

  1. Gregory Baskin   October 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Susan and others, I love reading your memories of Mr. D. Not unlike the recent passing of Robin Williams, his loss has been felt by many.

    Reply
  2. Susan   October 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I was blessed to meet John after a concert in Orange County, CA. in 1972. I was even able to take a few pictures of him. I still have them. I had followed his career from the very beginning. A friend of mine had commented that his voice was clean, clear, and beautiful. I listen to his albums as often as possible.

    Reply
  3. cat   October 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

    jesse belle is as beautiful as her dad

    Reply
  4. g   October 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I miss John so much, so glad they are giving him this star the he deserves

    Reply
  5. Lori   October 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    You’ve got his birth year wrong. He was born in 1943.

    Reply
    • Gregory Baskin   October 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      New Year’s Eve of 1944 = December 31, 1943.

      Reply
  6. Gregory Baskin   October 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    That is odd, Christine. When I shared it on my own FB page it displayed the image at the top of the page, the one of JD with the hawk. I’m afraid I don’t know how to fix that for you.

    Reply
  7. Christine Moon   October 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I shard this on Facebook and the link showed a photo of a John Denver tribute artist named Ted Vigil. He is not mentioned in the article so I don’t understand why his picture was used for the link. Could we have a photo of John Denver instead please?

    Reply
  8. Christine Moon   October 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    The photo of Jesse Belle is mine, taken at Pine Creek Cookhouse, Ashcroft, Co on October 15th, 2011. Glad you like it~!

    Reply
    • Tina Davis   October 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      She’s beautiful Christine. Bless her heart.

      Reply
    • Gregory Baskin   October 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Christine!

      Reply

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