November 7, 2016 – 3:30 am

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The Complete Collection: Beginnings As A Folksinger [Disc 3 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.

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Track 301. Introduction 0:18 (734k)
Track 302. Ann (Billy Edd Wheeler) 2:32 (6.1MB)
Track 303. Marcie (Joni Mitchell) 4:54 (11.8MB)
Track 304. Suzanne (Leonard Cohen) 5:41 (13.6MB)
Track 305. Darcy Farrow (Tom Campbell; Steve Gillette) - from party tape 3:25 (8.2MB)
Track 306. Eleanor Rigby (Paul McCartney) 3:10 (7.6MB)
Track 307. Lady Madonna (Paul McCartney) 2:23 (5.7MB)
Track 308. Bookends (Paul Simon) / John’s Thoughts on Old Folks 7:15 (17.4MB)
Track 309. Old Folks (Jacques Brel; Eric Blau; Mort Shuman) 4:51 (11.6MB)
Track 310. Amsterdam (Jacques Brel; Mort Shuman) 3:45 (9.0MB)
Track 311. You Done Stomped on My Heart (Mason Williams) 8:17 (19.9MB)
Track 312. The Game Is Over (Pierre Bourtayre; Jean Bouchety; John Denver) 4:04 (9.8MB)
Track 313. Yellow Cat (Steven Fromholz) 3:31 (8.4MB)
Track 314. The Last Thing on My Mind (Tom Paxton) 3:58 (9.5MB)
Track 315. John’s Thoughts on Tom Paxton 0:44 (1.8MB)
Track 316. Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver) 3:56 (9.5MB)
Track 317. Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life (Pat Garvey; Victoria Garvey) 4:01 (9.7MB)
67 mins

The Bandersnatch Coffeehouse, Granville, OH; March 15, 1969:
Tracks 01, 03, 04, 11, 12

The Wise Owl Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 10, 1969:
Tracks 02, 06, 08, 09, 10, 16, 17

The Nowhere Coffeehouse, Cincinnati, OH; May 9, 1969:
Tracks 07, 13, 14, 15

John Denver - acoustic guitar, vocals
Erich Zwertschek - dobro, harmony vocals on “You Done Stomped on My Heart”
John Marlowe - acoustic guitar, harmony vocals on “You Done Stomped on My Heart”

Click here to order John Denver releases.

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  1. 14 Responses to “JOHN DENVER - FOLKSINGER [DISC 3 OF 3]”

  2. The tragedy of listening to these fascinating recordings is realizing Denver could have regained an audience by the early to mid-1990s had he returned to this style. His audience would have welcomed the more simplistic approach. Here’s a guy who should have worked with Rick Rubin or Don Was, two guys who could bring artists back to the natural core of their music.

    By Tony Pizza on Nov 7, 2016

  3. Rick Rubin, good idea there Tony Pizza

    By sluggo on Nov 7, 2016

  4. At the time of his death JD’s voice was at it’s peak, the Wildlife Concert is a stunning showcase of his incredible talent…but his voice was superb!

    By I Fart Rainbows on Nov 7, 2016

  5. sup dudes ,why iznt John wearin his Gilligan shirt an hat? da man gave up a fineass actin career 2 be a folksinga , he shud be proud of hiz tv shit. yo he mus hav been mad pimpin Ginger she wuz a foxx

    By Boom Boom Fartcini on Nov 7, 2016

  6. Moron , you are an attention starved narcissistic piece of shit , all you do is keep things stirred up even when it’s quiet here , just go away

    By Carl on Nov 7, 2016

  7. This Goober Moron fool started out trolling me but was repeatedly thrashed in his verbal wars with me , I’ve noticed gat he try’s to troll everyone these days like he little imature child that he is Go Trump , just two more days and we can get our country back after 8 horrible years of the resident Muslim in the White House The big eared grinning one Barack HUSSEIN Obama

    By CoreyM on Nov 7, 2016

  8. I’m a sad, lonely, retired old man that’s why I’m here all day every day-I even post fri and sat nights when people with lives are busy. This is the only site that doesn’t ban me so I go wild here-I’ve used at least 15 different names, which would be fine if I talked music with them, but I just troll. I only like 70’s rock because that’s what I listened to during my teen years in the 1970’s, but I most like to talk about anything other than music; politics and penises are my specialty. This is the only human contact I have all day…

    By Corey M on Nov 7, 2016

  9. not me people,goober is taking liberties with the rules ,better put moron after you sign off jerkoff

    By COREY M on Nov 8, 2016

  10. that’s not me people ,I don’t know who that is

    By Corey M on Nov 8, 2016

  11. dudes ,Carl is a jagoff who shud stick wit jackin off its all he noze how to doo ’70s rock

    By Boom Boom Fartcini on Nov 8, 2016

  12. Lovely collection and great now-best-of-folk song selection by Denver in 1969. Thanks for all 3 parts!

    By F maj7 on Nov 10, 2016

  13. You know what? One of these days BigO is going to get fed up with you morons making retarded comments and hating on each other and he’s going to pull the plug on all this. Then we will know who the assholes are to blame for that happening.

    Cut the crap! OK?

    By walter on Nov 11, 2016

  14. Walter, how about now? These idiots aren’t going to go away, like an incurable disease and have ruined the purpose of this site for good, and I think the only way to end it is to eliminate the Comments section. Just put a “like” and “dislike” check box. Or, Big O can waste all their time monitoring the comments and deleting them.

    By agree with walter on Nov 11, 2016

  15. Come on darth, we all know it’s you. How many IDs are u using these days?

    By everyone else on bigo on Nov 11, 2016

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