|Birth name||William T. Danoff|
May 7, 1946 |
Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
|Associated acts||Starland Vocal Band, John Denver|
William T. "Bill" Danoff (born May 7, 1946, Springfield, Massachusetts) is an American songwriter and singer. His best-known song is "Afternoon Delight", which he wrote and performed as a member of the Starland Vocal Band. As a songwriter, he also wrote or co-wrote hits for John Denver, Emmylou Harris, and Doug and the Slugs.
Bill Danoff had his start with a group in Springfield during high school with a group called the reflections. They were very successful in competing at local band contests. Members of the original Reflections included: Don "Skippy" Parent, Ricky Rydell, Jimmy Blanchard and another member who was the drummer. They recorded several 45's during their time together and were very popular throughout the Northeast.
Danoff and his then-wife, Mary ("Taffy") Nivert, wrote "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads," both of which were hits for John Denver. The latter song is the de facto state song of West Virginia, although it has no official status as such (and was written in a house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.). Danoff has stated he had never been in West Virginia before co-writing the song. He had even briefly considered using "Massachusetts" rather than "West Virginia", as both four-syllable state names would have fit the song's meter. Denver recorded about a dozen Danoff compositions from 1972 through the end of his career.
On the strength of their track record as songwriters, Danoff and Nivert recorded several albums before forming a group called the Starland Vocal Band. It was this group which recorded "Afternoon Delight", a #1 hit in 1976. On July 4, 1976 "Afternoon Delight" was the number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Starland replaced Rhoda with a half hour weekly series that same summer. Danoff and Nivert were responsible for putting film director Robert Altman and producer Jerry Weintraub together for the film, Nashville.
Danoff also worked with Emmylou Harris co-authoring "Boulder to Birmingham" (one of Harris' better-known compositions) with her. This track was recorded by The Walker Brothers in 1975 and The Hollies in 1976, and became a Top 10 hit in New Zealand. In 1982, Danoff and fellow Starland Vocal Band member Jon Carroll wrote "Who Knows How To Make Love Stay", a Top 40 Canadian hit for Doug and the Slugs.
Danoff is a graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and of Georgetown University. In 1976, at the height of Starland Vocal Band's and John Denver's popularity, they met with current Cathedral High students and appeared together (Starland Vocal Band opened for John Denver and they later performed together) that night at a concert at the Springfield Civic Center.
In the fall of 2007 Danoff taught a songwriters course at his alma mater, Georgetown University.