November 5, 2016 – 9:10 am

To reduce spamming, the BigO website is going through Cloudflare. What it does is scan your browser to ensure the visitor is not a spam. Do not be alarmed as this usually takes only a few seconds. Email us if you still have difficulty accessing the BigO site; or playing or downloading the tracks. If you know a better way of reducing spam, do let us know.

+ + + + +

Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

Click here for the pdf artwork.

The Complete Collection: Beginnings As A Folksinger [Disc 1 of 3, no label]

Live at the Bandersnatch Coffeehouse, Granville, OH; March 15, 1969. The Nowhere Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 9, 1969. The Wise Owl Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 10, 1969. Very good soundboard.

Thanks to taper John Marlowe; and to jddpro for sharing these tracks at Dime.

jddpro’s notes:

John Denver was widely known as a country pop singer-songwriter with the somehow silly “country boy” image, but he actually began his career as a left-wing folksinger. In 1965, he joined folk group The Mitchell Trio, which was the most political and topical folk group at the time. He remained a member for four years until the trio broke up in November 1968. His first several albums were still pretty folk-ish, until in the mid-1970s when he switched to the more commercial, “country boy” side, as suggested by his then manager Jerry Weintraub. Was the change of John’s image a good thing or not? Hard to tell. To be honest, though the mid-’70s saw John Denver’s career peak, it’s not my favorite period of his music.

Bandersnatch, Nowhere and Wise Owl - These soundboard recordings were made by John Marlowe in the spring of 1969, after The Mitchell Trio broke up, but before John’s first solo album came out. They are some of my favorite concert recordings. When I first had the idea of a compilation from this era of John Denver, I was initially going to make it a “Best Of” kind of thing which would fit onto one single CD. However, it eventually became a “Complete Collection”, because it’s really hard to pick the “best” 80 minutes from over eight hours of wonderful live music!

Though John Denver had already begun writing quite a few songs, he was still mostly singing other people’s songs as of this time. These three early John Denver recordings would cover the works of almost every major folk songwriter at the time: Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Bob Gibson, Phil Ochs, Randy Sparks, Shel Silverstein, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Fred Neil, Leonard Cohen, just to mention a few. He also brought a handful of Mitchell Trio songs into his solo career. On the other hand, among all these 1969 tapes that would run over eight hours, only six songs were written by John Denver himself! So I would say, these coffeehouse tapes are not recordings of John Denver the singer-songwriter, but of John Denver the folksinger.

For more information on the songs and the early years of John Denver, visit

+ + + + +

Soundboard > Cassette Tapes > WAV > Speed Correction > Track Edits > WAV > SBE Fix > TLH > FLAC Level 8

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Disc 2 and 3 will be shared in the following days.

Track 101. Introduction 0:55 (2.2MB)
Track 102. For Baby (John Denver) 2:47 (6.7MB)
Track 103. It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie (Billy Mayhew) 2:37 (6.3MB)
Track 104. The New Frankie and Johnny Song (Bob Gibson; Shel Silverstein) 1:51 (4.5MB)
Track 105. Deal With the Ladies (John Denver) 1:56 (4.7MB)
Track 106. My God, I Appreciate Your Bod (Michael Peter Smith) 3:28 (8.3MB)
Track 107. All the While (Myles Rudge; Ted Dicks) 3:26 (8.2MB)
Track 108. Blackbird (Paul McCartney) 2:40 (6.4MB)
Track 109. Yesterday (Paul McCartney) 2:28 (5.9MB)
Track 110. Catch Another Butterfly (Mike Williams) 2:51 (6.9MB)
Track 111. Rhymes and Reasons (John Denver) 2:58 (7.1MB)
Track 112. Two Little Boys (Theodore F Morse; Edward Madden) 4:39 (11.2MB)
Track 113. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (Ed McCurdy) 2:38 (6.3MB)
Track 114. Today (Randy Sparks) 5:00 (12.0MB)
Track 115. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) 4:05 (9.8MB)
Track 116. Mr Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker) 4:57 (11.9MB)
Track 117. Wherefore and Why (Gordon Lightfoot) 3:38 (8.7MB)
Track 118. California Dreamin’ (John Phillips; Michelle Phillips) 2:58 (7.1MB)
Track 119. Cindy’s Cryin’ (Tom Paxton) 4:06 (9.8MB)
Track 120. San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller) 2:17 (5.5MB)
Track 121. For Lovin’ Me (Gordon Lightfoot) 1:57 (4.7MB)
Track 122. Games People Play (Joe South) 2:48 (6.7MB)
Track 123. That’s the Way It’s Gonna Be (Bob Gibson; Phil Ochs) 3:00 (7.2MB)
70 mins

The Nowhere Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 9, 1969:
Tracks 01, 02, 05, 06, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 23

The Wise Owl Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 10, 1969:
Tracks 03, 10, 14, 17, 22

The Bandersnatch Coffeehouse, Granville, OH; March 15, 1969:
Tracks 04, 07, 08, 09, 11, 19, 20, 21

Lineup includes:
John Denver - acoustic guitar, vocals
The Queen City Balladeers - background vocals on “Today” and “I Appreciate Your Bod”

Click here to order John Denver releases.

+ + + + +
+ + + + +

Click here for more shows that are still open for sharing.

Click here for closed shows.
(Readers can email us a request to reopen closed shows.)

  1. 9 Responses to “JOHN DENVER - FOLKSINGER [DISC 1 OF 3]”

  2. Thanks for spreading the music, BigO.

    To make things clear, not all tracks from this 1st disc are from Bandersnatch! As a compilation, each disc would include songs from all three concerts.

    I can’t remember exactly which track is from which concert, but if memory serves:

    01. Nowhere - Introduction
    02. Nowhere - For Baby
    03. Wise Owl - It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie
    04. Bandersnatch - The New Frankie and Johnny Song
    05. Nowhere - Deal With the Ladies
    06. Nowhere - I Appreciate Your Bod
    07. Bandersnatch - All the While
    08. Bandersnatch - Blackbird
    09. Bandersnatch - Yesterday
    10. Wise Owl - Catch Another Butterfly
    11. Bandersnatch - Rhymes and Reasons
    12. Nowhere - Two Little Boys
    13. Nowhere - The Strangest Dream
    14. Wise Owl - Today
    15. Nowhere - Both Sides Now
    16. Nowhere - Mr. Bojangles
    17. Wise Owl - Wherefore and Why
    18. Nowhere - California Dreamin’
    19. Bandersnatch - Cindy’s Cryin’
    20. Bandersnatch - San Francisco Bay Blues
    21. Bandersnatch - For Lovin’ Me
    22. Wise Owl - Games People Play
    23. Nowhere - That’s the Way It’s Gonna Be


    By JDDPro on Nov 5, 2016

  3. Hello JDDPro

    Thanks for all your efforts; and for the feedback.

    By bigozine2 on Nov 5, 2016

  4. Thanks! Never knew of this significant part of Denver’s career.

    By Daniel Klenke on Nov 5, 2016

  5. Fantastic, looking forward to the next two discs. thanks JDDPro and bigO.

    By malc wyatt on Nov 5, 2016

  6. You’re welcome BigO.

    I’ve also shared the “Still Ramblin’” radio series hosted by Tom Paxton a while back. It’s one of my favorite radio series. Will you think about putting it up here too?

    By JDDPro on Nov 5, 2016

  7. Thank you for this. My mother passed a couple weeks ago, and she only liked the music of two artists: Glenn Miller and Bob Denver. She was 91. She was born in a room at the hospital where one wall was missing because of the 1925 earthquake. She was 11 when her mom passed away. She lived alone for 6 years making do by herself during the Great Depression. Very strong woman.

    By ScarRad on Nov 6, 2016

  8. not me dudes, i knows who john denver is and wuz. great singer.stop pretendin to be me dude,against da rules to use others names 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Nov 7, 2016

  9. ScarRad,its John Denver not Bob Denver,This isnt Gilligans Island ,didnt know if you were making a joke or serious

    By Victor on Nov 7, 2016

  10. No, just my brain damage playing tricks on me as usual. At least I got Steve Miller’s name right (chuckle). But isn’t it weird that my mom’s 2 favorite artists both died in plane crashes? And she witnessed a gyrocopter pilot crash and burn 100 feet in front of her. I saw a Stutz Bearcat catch on fire and it blew up when it crashed at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field when I was 14. My twin brother regularly flew in the two planes that on 9-11 crashed into the twin towers and knew both crews well. My oldest brother witnessed the same plane crash in Pacoima that Richie Valens did, who died in the same plane as Buddy Holly. Just weird.

    By ScarRad on Nov 7, 2016

Post a Comment