John Denver Remembered

Directed by Greg Poschman. 2006.

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"To work in the service of life and the living, in search of the answers to questions unknown" – John Denver, Calypso 

Originally broadcast as a PBS special, the documentary Song’s Best Friend: John Denver Remembered is an inspiring tribute to one of the finest American singer/songwriters of the last fifty years. Directed and photographed by Greg Poschman and produced for Sony/BMG by Dirk Detweiler of Sedna Films, the film is a one-hour look at the life of John Denver and the songs that made him famous. John’s pure lyrical voice is heard in rare concert footage spanning three decades and his narration is provided on tape talking about his life and music and the causes he cared about.  

In the documentary, John’s life is remembered by personal stories and affectionate anecdotes by his wife Annie, producer and arranger Milt Okun, manager Hal Thau, conductor and composer Lee Holdridge, and band members Pete Huttlinger and John Somers, each providing insight into the composition and meaning of his songs. Segments from 1970s television specials and concerts include Sing Australia (1984 and 1994) and Red Rocks (1973 and 1982) and feature thirteen songs including The Eagle and the Hawk, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Country Roads, Aspen Glow, Calypso, Sunshine on My Shoulders, Rocky Mountain High, Thank God I’m a Country Boy, and others.  

In Song’s Best Friend, John Denver’s songs never sounded more beautiful or moving and the film, while only providing a brief sketch of his life, makes clear who he was and what gave his life its meaning and purpose. An enormously gifted entertainer, he stood up for what he believed in and dedicated his life to the environment and helping people to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. He was in touch with the world around him and his connection to it was clear in every song he wrote.  

John worked with Jacques Cousteau in his explorations of our planetary space and with Werner Erhard in his explorations of inner space. He was in his own words, “part of the movement, and part of the growing, part of beginning to understand”. It has been ten years since his death in a private plane crash. He was a very special person in my life and I miss him a lot. Joyful and loving and letting it be, he “lit up the darkness and showed us the way”.  


Howard Schumann
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