Tune Tuesday: April 2, 1974

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John Denver Image One
Photo Credit: seventiesmusic.wordpress.com

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver. Co-written with guitarist Mike Taylor and bassist Richard Kniss, the song was originally released in 1971 as an album track on Poems, Prayers & Promises. It wasn’t released as a single until October 1973 (oddly, the same month as his death) and hit #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart just two weeks prior to making the Hot 100. It had been re-mixed to include woodwinds and strings and, had the last verses removed. The full length single mix showed up on Denver’s later compilation albums.

From Wikipedia (without citation?):

Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and, it was too cold to go outside and have fun but, God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine and, you remember how, sometimes, just the sun, itself, can make you feel good. And, in that very melancholy frame of mind, I wrote ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.”

The song was used as the theme to the CBS Friday Night made-for-TV movie Sunshine starring Cristina Raines, Cliff De Young and, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Canadian singer-songwriter-actress Carly Rae Jepsen released her cover version of the song on June 16, 2008.

Lyrics:
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

14 thoughts on “Tune Tuesday: April 2, 1974

    nostaligicitalian said:
    April 3, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I remember my mom loving John Denver’s music. Annie’s Song was her favorite, but she listened to all of his stuff. He was a good songwriter, singer and he enjoyed some success acting, too. Anytime I ever saw him in an interview, he always seemed to be the nicest guy. It’s a shame he died so young

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      When I was a ‘tween, I had a bit of a crush on him. He was so cute. ‘Oh, God’ just reinforced it.

      My fave is Calypso but, I like the majority of his music.

      We’ve lost many in small plane crashes. ☹

    badfinger20 said:
    April 3, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I liked a lot of John Denver’s stuff…He got picked on a lot but he did what he did nicely. He was a good songwriter also. The Willie Nelson quote about him is funny…mean but funny.
    During the “We Are The World” filming featuring dozens of pop stars, Willie Nelson cracked, “If a bomb hit this building, John Denver would be No. 1 again.”

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      I remember that remark. I remember that it reinforced my dislike of Willie. I can’t stand his music. I can’t stand his voice. I can’t stand his politics. He is an ass. And, he is ADORED in Austin. 🙄😖

        badfinger20 said:
        April 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm

        lol… he seems like a cool guy to hang with though… I could not pass that up.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          April 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

          You can have my slot. Enjoy. I’ll go hang with George Strait.

            badfinger20 said:
            April 3, 2019 at 5:10 pm

            I’ll take it

    floatinggold said:
    April 3, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Was it released before, or after his death (in October)?

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      He was killed October 12, 1997. The song was released October 22, 1973.

        floatinggold said:
        April 3, 2019 at 10:11 pm

        Ah, I didn’t realize it was a different year.

    Dayphoto said:
    April 3, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    I love John Denver…Sunshine on my Shoulder………….always

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    April 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I remember John Denver LPs in the house. This brings back memories.

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