Thank God I'm a Country Boy

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"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
Thank God I'm a Country Boy.jpg
Single by John Denver
from the album An Evening with John Denver
B-side"My Sweet Lady"
ReleasedMarch 1975
Format7"
RecordedAugust 26, 1974
GenreCountry folk
Length3:40
2:47 (single edit)
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)John Martin Sommers
Producer(s)Milton Okun
John Denver singles chronology
"Sweet Surrender"
(1975)
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
(1975)
"I'm Sorry"
(1975)
Audio sample
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
Single by Billy Dean
from the album Let Them Be Little
Released2004
GenreCountry
LabelCurb
Songwriter(s)John Martin Sommers
Producer(s)Ray Barnette, Billy Dean, Lari White
Billy Dean singles chronology
"I'm in Love with You"
(2004)
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
(2004)
"Let Them Be Little"
(2004)

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy", also known as "Country Boy", is a song written by John Martin Sommers[1] and recorded by American singer/songwriter John Denver.

The song was originally included on Denver's 1974 album Back Home Again.

A version recorded live on August 26, 1974, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles was included on his 1975 album An Evening with John Denver.

The live version was released as a single and went to No. 1 on both the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles [2] and Billboard Hot 100 charts.[3] The song topped both charts for one week each, first the country chart (on May 31), and the Hot 100 chart a week later. Thank God I'm a Country Boy also became the name of a variety special show hosted by Denver in 1977.

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Denver's two-sided hit "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso" also received that distinction.

Background[edit]

The song was written by John Martin Sommers, a guitar/banjo/fiddle/mandolin player in Denver's backup band, on December 31, 1973 (coincidentally Denver's thirtieth birthday) when he was driving from his home in Aspen, Colorado to Los Angeles.[4]

The song is remarkably similar to a 1973 song by Arlo Guthrie, from his album "Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys", entitled "Uncle Jeff."

Content[edit]

Sommers recalls that at the time he was feeling “peaceful, happy and content” with his lot in life, and started scribbling some notes about his blissful state along the way. They served as the inspiration for the song.

Structure[edit]

The song is in cut (2/2) time that is typical of two-step. Both the verse and chorus comprise eight measures with 3/2 added between the first four measures and last three measures. Emotionally, this creates an intended slight stall. The instrumental breaks in the song incorporate a violin playing the old fiddle tune Sally Goodin, which is also referenced in the song's lyrics: "I'd play Sally Goodin all day if I could...."

Chart performance[edit]

John Denver version[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[6] 5
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Yugoslavian Singles Charts 1

Billy Dean version[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 27

Cover versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 103.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 173.
  4. ^ Smith, Dean. "Baltimore?s Seventh-Inning Tradition Within a Tradition". Pressboxonline.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  5. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Billy Dean Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  9. ^ iTunes: Village Girls - Thank God I'm a Country Girl
  10. ^ Cowherd, Kevin. "7th-inning stretch belonged to Denver Orioles: Time after time, 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy' got the stadium rocking. And when the man himself joined in, it was magic," The Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, October 14, 1997

External links[edit]