Sunshine On My Shoulders – John Denver

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………on March 30th of 1974 nine weeks after entering the Hot 100, John Denver’s “Sunshine On My Shoulders” goes to #1. Denver wrote this song on an early spring day in Minnesota when the rain was gently falling. He found himself looking forward to spending more time outdoors and enjoying the sunshine.This song first appeared on John Denver’s 1971 album Poems, Prayers & Promises. Denver was a struggling singer/songwriter at the time who was enjoying his first solo hit “Take Me Home Country Roads,” which was released a few months before the album and was climbing the charts. Over the next few years, Denver found an audience with his heartwarming, spiritual songs that dealt with finding pleasure in the simple things. Denver wrote this song with his lead guitarist Mike Taylor and bass player Richard Kniss. Taylor also co-wrote “Rocky Mountain High” with Denver. This song got a big boost when it was used in a November 1973 made-for-TV movie called Sunshine, a weeper about a woman dying of cancer who recorded messages for her family in her final days. The concept was used in a spin-off series the next year, also called Sunshine. Denver said of the original TV movie: “It was the true story of Lyn Helton, an incredibly courageous lady who chose to live her short life to the fullest even though she knew she would die of a rare bone cancer in a matter of months. It seems that in the last year of her life she found some happiness in my music. I was most honored to have my songs used as part of that television show.” The song was not released as a single in the UK.