|Birth name||William T. Danoff|
May 7, 1946 |
Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
|Associated acts||The Reflections, Taffy Nivert, 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 (notably "Take Me Home, Country Roads").
Early years and The Reflections
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.
In Starland Vocal Band
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 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. 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.
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.
In the fall of 2007 Danoff taught a songwriters course at his alma mater, Georgetown University.