November 6, 2016 – 10:01 am

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The Complete Collection: Beginnings As A Folksinger [Disc 2 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

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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 3 will be shared in the following days.

Track 201. Introduction 0:34 (1.4MB)
Track 202. The Bells of Rhymney (Pete Seeger; Idris Davies) 5:39 (13.6MB)
Track 203. The Weight (Robbie Robertson) 5:18 (12.7MB)
Track 204. Everybody’s Talkin’ (Fred Neil) 3:45 (9.0MB)
Track 205. Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio (Randy Sparks) 3:11 (7.6MB)
Track 206. Bottle of Wine (Tom Paxton) - from party tape 2:23 (5.7MB)
Track 207. When I’m 64 (Paul McCartney) 2:25 (5.8MB)
Track 208. In My Life (John Lennon) 3:12 (7.7MB)
Track 209. Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin) 2:30 (6.0MB)
Track 210. Circus (Michael Johnson; Laurie Kuehn; John Denver) 3:22 (8.1MB)
Track 211. Daydream (John Denver) 3:13 (7.7MB)
Track 212. Sticky Summer Weather (John Denver) 3:38 (8.7MB)
Track 213. John’s Thoughts on Bob Gibson 1:38 (3.9MB)
Track 214. Civil War Suite (Shel Silverstein; Bob Gibson; Hamilton Camp; Irving Gordon) 8:01 (19.2MB)
Track 215. Business Goes on as Usual (Fred Hellerman; Fran Minkoff) 2:54 (7.0MB)
Track 216. What a Friend We Have in Congress (Traditional; Pete Seeger) 2:56 (7.0MB)
Track 217. Abraham, Martin and John (Dick Holler) 3:20 (8.0MB)
Track 218. What’s That I Hear (Phil Ochs) 4:31 (10.8MB)
Track 219. Farewell Party (Bob Gibson; Bob Connelly) 2:08 (5.1MB)
Track 220. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor; Dick Dallas) 4:12 (10.1MB)
69 mins

The Wise Owl Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 10, 1969:
Tracks 01, 02, 04, 07, 08, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18

The Bandersnatch Coffeehouse, Granville, OH; March 15, 1969:
Tracks 03, 09, 10, 17

The Nowhere Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 9, 1969:
Tracks 05, 11, 19, 20

Click here to order John Denver releases.

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  1. 9 Responses to “JOHN DENVER - FOLKSINGER [DISC 2 OF 3]”

  2. dude ,gainst da rules pretendin to be somebody else , better alter your name Mr Moron,i know dats you 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Nov 7, 2016

  3. Whatsa da matta youz bumz, play da games nise!

    By Boom Boom Linguini on Nov 7, 2016

  4. blah blah uncle miltie , blah blah who opened for the monkees , blah blah da ox going boom boom on dat bass , trumpity trump trump , blah blah hi I’m new here, who’s boom boom , blah blah big fat dix, god I’m so lonely

    By Corey M on Nov 7, 2016

  5. sorry I forgot, blah blah blah miley cyrus

    By Corey M on Nov 7, 2016

  6. Interesting. I mostly know John Denver as the TV-special, Sesame Street, Rocky Mountain High dude, and ignored him. But these two sets are interesting. He ended up a successful mainstream entertainer, but in these shows, he’s still a folksinger with a pop sensibility. You can see how ambitious he was by his choice of covers (Beatles, etc.)and what his roots are. Still not a huge fan, but thank you for sharing this.

    By Eric (The Other Eric) on Nov 7, 2016

  7. goober ,stop impersonating me against the cant use others names as that is the one thing you cant do here,go wax your carrot in front of your giant Obama poster,Go Trump

    By COREY M on Nov 8, 2016

  8. I’m the real corey who are you???

    By Corey M on Nov 8, 2016

  9. Would you trolls , all of you ! and there are many as opposed to the beliefs of done that only a few are doing this please talk music in an intelligent manner or just go away , why don’t you have consideration for others who don’t want to hear your verbal splitter splatter bullshit on almost every post , Assholes all of you

    By Alex Davis on Nov 8, 2016

  10. I like to talk about talking about music , but I never actually do

    By Alex DavIs on Nov 8, 2016

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