Bill Danoff

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Bill Danoff
Birth name William T. Danoff
Born (1946-05-07) May 7, 1946 (age 71)
Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation(s) Songwriter, singer
Associated acts The Reflections, Taffy Nivert, Starland Vocal Band, John Denver
Website billdanoff.com

William T. "Bill" Danoff (May 7, 1946 - ) is an American songwriter and singer.[1] 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 (notably "Take Me Home, Country Roads").[2]

Biography[edit]

Early years and The Reflections[edit]

Bill Danoff's career began in high school in Springfield when he helped form 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 United States.

Starland Vocal Band[edit]

On the strength of their track record as songwriters, Danoff and Nivert recorded several albums before forming the Starland Vocal Band with local musicians Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman. The group recorded "Afternoon Delight" which became a hit in July 1976, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 on July 10th. The Starland Vocal Band Show replaced Rhoda with a half-hour weekly series that same summer. Danoff and Nivert also worked with director Robert Altman and producer Jerry Weintraub on the film Nashville, doing research with screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury.[3]

Songwriting[edit]

Danoff and his then-wife, 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. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is an official state song of West Virginia.[4] Danoff has stated he had never been in West Virginia before co-writing the song, having written it in a house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. 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.[5]

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 taught a songwriters course in 2007 and a music industry seminar (with Walter Egan) in 2008 at his alma mater Georgetown University.

Personal life[edit]

Danoff is a graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and of Georgetown University. Danoff married Taffy Nivert in 1972.[6] Both appeared together in Starland Vocal Band.

His son Owen Danoff auditioned for The Voice's season 10 and got all four coaches to turn around. He opted for Adam Levine's team.

Danoff also has two daughters, Emma and Lucy.

Discography[edit]

Albums

Fat City

  • Reincarnation (ABC, 1969)
  • Welcome To Fat City (Paramount, 1971)

John Denver with Bill Danoff - Taffy Nivert

  • Victory Is Peace (Tomorrow Entertainment ER-7209-LP, 1972)[7]

Bill & Taffy

  • Pass It On (RCA, 1973)
  • Aces (RCA, 1974)

Starland Vocal Band

Bill Danoff

  • Souvenir (Watch Your Head, 1990)
  • I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado (Watch Your Head, 2002)
  • Blasted In The Basement (Oasis, 2007)
Singles

John Denver with Fat City

  • "Take Me Home, Country Roads" / "Poems, Prayers And Promises" (RCA, 1971)

Bill & Taffy

  • "Pass It On" / "Didn't I Try" (RCA UK, 1973)
  • "Maybe" / "How Lucky Can You Be" (RCA Germany, 1974)
  • "Maybe" (stereo) / "Maybe" (mono) (RCA promo, 1974)

Starland Vocal Band

Appearances
  • Capital Acoustics: Contemporary & Traditional Folk Music of the Washington DC Area (Institute of Musical Traditions, 1991), "Trying To Live In Time"
  • The 8th Annual World Folk Music Association Benefit Concert (World Folk Music Association, 1993), "Potter's Wheel"
  • Jon Carroll and Love Returns at the Barns at Wolf Trap (FestivaLink, 2007, Internet release), "Blasted In The Basement"

References[edit]

External links[edit]