In 1969 after a John Denver had been a various bands he decided to take on the music scene alone. That same year he recorded his debut LP, Rhymes and Reasons
; while not a hit, it contained one of his best-loved compositions, "Leaving on a Jet Plane," an international chart-topper for Peter, Paul & Mary. Still, neither of Denver's follow-up albums, 1970's Whose Garden Was This
and Take Me to Tomorrow
, launched him as a solo performer; finally, with 1971's Poems, Prayers & Promises
, he achieved superstardom, thanks to the million-selling hits "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders."
In the years to follow, Denver also scored with "Annie's Song" (penned for his wife) and "Back Home Again," and by 1974 was firmly established as America's best-selling performer; albums like 1975's An Evening With John Denver
were phenomenally popular, and he continued to top the singles charts with efforts including "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "I'm Sorry."