Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

John Denver Paid Tribute To His Most Prized Possession in “This Old Guitar”

by

American singer-songwriter John Denver paid tribute to his most prized possession in his 1974 song “This Old Guitar.”

Denver wrote the song about his 1910 Gibson acoustic jazz guitar, which his grandmother gave to him when he was only twelve years old. This was the same guitar his grandmother used to play as a young girl.

The vintage instrument then played an essential part in Denver’s development.

“This old guitar taught me to sing a love song. It showed me how to laugh and how to cry. It introduced me to some friends of mine and brightened up some days and helped me make it thru some lonely nights. Oh, what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night,” the song goes.

The Inspiration Behind The Song

John Denver grew up to be a shy kid. In his 1994 autobiography, Take Me Home, he described his life being the eldest son of a family molded by a forbidding father who couldn’t show affection for his children. And since his father was in the U.S. Air Force, Denver’s family was forced to move around a lot.

Always being the new kid in class has caused trouble to the introverted Denver. He grew up always feeling as if he should be in one place or another but does not know where exactly he should be. He finds solace in listening to the radio, playing the guitar, and along the way, learning how to write songs.

Things changed for Denver when he was thirteen, and his music teacher asked him to bring a guitar into class. Denver did and even happily played some songs. Since then, Denver became much more well-received at the school.

Denver would talk about his old guitar time and again in concert appearances and interviews. For instance, in one of Denver’s TV specials in 1974, the singer recalled being hit over in the head with the guitar at one lumber camp in Washington. “The fellow was not a Hank Williams fan at all,” Denver laughingly said.

Denver has also lost the guitar once in his life, and the singer feared he would never get it back. Luckily, he was reunited with the instrument a few years earlier, and you could imagine how thrilled he was. The reunion, Denver said, is what inspired him to write “This Old Guitar.”

Sadly, Denver was killed when the small, experimental Rutan Long-EZ plane he was flying crashed off Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California, in 1997. Many fans believed Denver’s old guitar was laid to rest with the singer after his untimely death, but it actually has been safely stored the whole time.

Denver’s family especially hand-picked the guitar and donated it to be used in an exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, to honor the singer.  

You can listen to the song in the video below.

Latest Stories

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash ...

Randy Travis A Country Legend's Fight for His Voice and His Legacy

What Happened to Randy Travis After Massive Stroke and Dire Financial Situation?

What happened to Randy Travis? That has been the question of many of his fans after his massive stroke in 2013.  Randy Travis is a legend and an icon in ...

5 Must-Hear Lainey Wilson Collaborations

Here Are 5 Lainey Wilson Collaborations You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Country singer Lainey Wilson’s discography isn’t just a string of solo hits. Over the years, she has also steadily stacked up her collaboration resume — earning several number ones from ...

Lukas Nelson And Sierra Ferrell + Crying Time

Lukas Nelson & Sierra Ferrell Harmonize on Buck Owens’ “Crying Time”

Buck Owen’s 1964 track “Crying Time,” popularized by Ray Charles, is making waves again after Lukas Nelson and Sierra Ferrell shared a casual snippet of their take on the song.  ...

Ashley Cooke on making country music history with her debut album

Ashley Cooke Reaches a Milestone with Debut Album “Shot in the Dark”

With her single ”Your Place” from the album Shot in the Dark, Ashley Cooke jumps into a huge leap in her career and turns into a Billboard Hot-100 artist at ...

Carly Pearce Reveals Heart Condition

Carly Pearce Reveals Heart Condition, What’s Next?

Country singer Carly Pearce candidly took to social media to share a very important health update.  In the video uploaded on her Instagram, captioned, “health update. love y’all 💛,” Pearce ...

Top 30 Country Songs This Week

Top 30 Country Songs This Week

Check out this week’s most popular hit country music with our top 30 country songs of 2024. Stay up-to-date with the latest hits that everyone is talking about. The Top ...

Home Free Member, Adam Rupp, Stuns in His Vocalized Drum Solo

Adam Rupp of Home Free Showcases His Vocalized Drum Solo

During Home Free’s Spring Tour in 2015, vocal percussionist Adam Rupp beatboxed his way onto the stage of South Portland and performed a vocalized drum solo to silence the skeptics. ...

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.