My father-in-law gave me the bulk of his record collection last weekend. He knows I have a turntable that I use often. Also, he knows I appreciate music (some people don't, you know). I've been listening to the Stones & Doors. But tonight I put on John Denver's Aerie, an album I hadn't heard before.
As you know, I've been a Denver fan all my life. My parents always had him playing when I was younger, and I've always found him to be both the most comforting music. He's no pussy either, rarely shying away from the minor chords, and many of his lyrics confront his struggles as a human being, which I happen to be.
From Aerie, I've always been a HUGE fan of the opener "Starwood in Aspen" (not only my favorite song of his, but also one of my favorite songs ever) and the penultimate song, "The Eagle and the Hawk" (both of which are included on Denver's Greatest Hits).
Anyway, I'm reading the liner notes, as I do (as you should!), and saw that not only does he perform "City of New Orleans" but is also listed as a co-writer. I don't know how accurate that is, because I've always known it to be a Steve Goodman song (who's listed as the other writer). None of my "internet research" yielded any reference to Denver having co-written it, so maybe it was some record company-publishing company finagling.
The most popular version of the song is probably Arlo Guthrie's, released in 1972 (the song was written by Goodman in '70, and included on Aerie, a 1971 release).
Anyway, that was a slight digresion from the point of this post (there's a point?). Continuing with my liner note reading, I see Bill Danoff & Taffy Nivert, not surprisingly. I recognized their names as having co-written "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Late Night Radio" [not to mention "Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)" from Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas].
So then I get online again and follow the trail. I wanted to see if Bill & Taffy recorded any albums on their own. I quickly discover they formed a band called Fat City. Fat City? I know that name! It's one of the records by father-in-law brought over. Welcome to Fat City, their second album. It's good. Nice easy 70s folk sound (well, it IS produced by Milton Okun, after all!)
Now here's the kicker -- Bill and Taffy hired on two more singers and turned Fat City into a new band called Starland Vocal Band. Yes, the artists behind 70's staple (and Channel 11's bump music one summer) "Afternoon Delight". So, yeah, Bill Danoff wrote it!
There you have it -- the Revelation of the Day: The guy who co-wrote "Take Me Home, Country Roads" also wrote "Afternoon Delight"! I never knew that! I feel so enlightened! It's like I've learned a secret of the universe! I feel like Gurdjieff! Or Siddhartha!
And now you know, too!