John Denver's Estate celebrates 50th Anniversary of 'Rocky Mountain High,' concert special to air on PBS spring 2023

Article Contributed by Sacks and Company | Published on Saturday, October 29, 2022

This week, the John Denver estate is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his beloved song, Rocky Mountain High. The title track from his 1972 album is officially recognized as a state song of Colorado as of 2007. It was written while Denver was camping in the Rocky Mountains during the Perseid Meteor Shower, expressing his love and wonder for his adopted state.

Twenty-five years after Denver’s untimely passing, his environmental and humanitarian messages are as poignant as ever, and Denver’s Estate has teamed up with Sony Legacy to digitize from their archives “John Denver's Rocky Mountain High”—a concert special filmed in 1974 at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater and featuring many of Denver’s hits of the time—which will air on PBS in spring 2023.

Originally released on September 15, 1972, Rocky Mountain High was Denver’s first Top 10 album. A limited-edition blue vinyl reissue of the album is out now on Windstar Records and Secretly Distribution. Order and purchase exclusive merchandise HERE.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently confirmed the renaming of Mountain Lion Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which will now be called the Rocky Mountain High Trail. “Here in Colorado, we’ve always known that our majestic mountains, our bright blue skies, our starlit nights and our forest and streams were the stuff of legends—but John Denver made them the stuff of song lyrics, too,” says Polis. “And not just any lyrics, but world-famous lyrics that span genres and generations.”

In the early ’70’s Denver was one of the first artists to share an environmental message through his music, contributing to a number of charitable and environmental causes. He has received a number of civic and humanitarian awards over the years, including the Presidential “World Without Hunger” Award for his work with The Hunger Project and UNICEF, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award and the NASA Medal for Public Service.

Denver, a two-time Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter and Poet Laureate of Colorado, released 23 studio albums in his lifetime. He is best known for the beloved songs “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song” and “Rocky Mountain High.” Denver is the 53rd highest selling artist worldwide with over 33 million records sold and seven Billboard Top Ten Albums in the U.S. His catalog continues to sell thousands of units per week. He has had seven Multiplatinum, 13 Platinum and 20 Gold U.S. Certified albums. Among his numerous awards and recognitions, Denver was instrumental in championing environmental causes and space exploration. John Denver died tragically in a plane crash on October 12, 1997.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Gilpin and Jefferson counties northwest of Golden, Colorado. The 12,119-acre Front Range park established in 1960 has 35 miles of trail, 18 of which are multiple use trails, and difficulty ranges from “moderate to most difficult.” The park is easily accessed from the Denver Metro area.

Rocky Mountain High


Side One
1. Rocky Mountain High
2. Mother Nature's Son
3. Paradise
4. For Baby (For Bobbie)
5. Darcy Farrow
6. Prisoners

Side Two
1. Goodbye Again
2. Season Suite: Summer
3. Season Suite: Fall
4. Season Suite: Winter
5. Season Suite: Late Winter, Early Spring (When Everybody Goes to Mexico)
6. Season Suite: Spring