John Denver had already earned his country cred with the crossover hit "Take Me Home Country Roads
" in 1971. While that song was inspired by a longing to settle in West Virginia (nor he or the songwriters had actually ever visited the state), this track literally hit closer to home as it was influenced by the singer's beloved Colorado, where he made his home in Aspen. Denver's guitarist/fiddler, John Martin Sommers, wrote the tune during a peaceful drive from Aspen to Los Angeles.
The song originally appeared on Denver's Back Home Again
album, but was overshadowed by the hit "Annie's Song
." A live version was recorded at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles as part of the album and television special An Evening with John Denver
and released as a single in 1975, topping both the pop and country charts.