John Denver first found success as a songwriter in the 1960s when the folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary recorded one of his songs, "Leaving on a Jet Plane." The song became the group's only number one hit.
Denver began studying music at the age of 11, when he received his grandmother's guitar as a birthday gift. His music career began in earnest after moving to New York City in 1965. There, he soon became lead singer of the Chad Mitchell Trio. Following that group's disbandment, Denver found solo success with songs such as "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High” and "Sunshine On My Shoulders."