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From the Archives: John Denver celebration at the Forum

From the Archives: John Denver celebration at the Forum
May 15, 1978: John Denver during a performance at the Forum in Inglewood. (Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

During his 1978 tour, John Denver performed two sold-out concerts at the Forum. According to pop music critic Robert Hilburn, the audience “was anything but silent.”

Hilburn added,When the 34-year-old singer-songwriter asked the audience to sing along on the chorus of "Back Home Again," the 18,000 fans responded so naturally that you'd think they had been traveling with Denver on his 51-city U.S. tour.

“The audience didn't need any coaxing for the hand-clapping and foot-stomping support it gave when Denver followed that song with the festive "Grandma's Feather Bed."

“But the real outburst came on the rousing "Thank God, I'm a Country Boy." The audience whooped it up with an energy and zest that the Forum staff would normally associate only with a Rolling Stones encore.”

The photo above, by staff photographer Tony Barnard, accompanied Hilburn's article in the May 17, 1978, Los Angeles Times.

John Denver died in an Oct. 12, 1997, airplane crash. His obituary, “Singer John Denver killed in plane crash,” appeared in the Oct. 14, 1997, Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published on March 14, 2014.

May 15, 1978: John Denver in concert at the Forum. This image is from the Los Angeles Times Archive
May 15, 1978: John Denver in concert at the Forum. Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times Archives / UCLA

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