The '60s were an incredibly fertile period in the history of American popular music. Technological innovation and societal change collided with the timeless appeal of traditional songcraft to produce a stunningly diverse body of sound. With top 40 broadcast radio fueling a demand for hit songs and a vibrant coffeehouse scene nurturing young talent, the American musical landscape was being redefined before our very ears.
Pianist JOHN EATON revisits the spirit of the age with renowned songwriter BILL DANOFF and bassist JAY LEONHART in a personal and musical conversation. Together they examine the enduring musical forms that emerged from the decade and take listeners on a radio-style journey exploring the impact of the BEATLES, BOB DYLAN, and others on the American popular song. Highlights include candid reflections of Washington, D.C.'s venerated Cellar Door music club which provided a launching pad for so many musical careers and brilliant songs.
BILL DANOFF has been writing and singing since the '60s when he co-wrote songs with JOHN DENVER and performed at the Cellar Door in Georgetown, a historic area of Washington, D.C. When Bill and his then partner, Taffy Nivert, invited Denver to help them finish writing a song, little did anyone know that the song would soar to the top of the charts. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" catapulted John Denver into national prominence and he eventually went on to record twelve of Danoff's songs.
In the 1970s, Danoff was the driving force behind the Starland Vocal Band and writer of "Afternoon Delight," which earned two Grammy Awards and five nominations, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. These days, Danoff teaches seminars in songwriting at Georgetown University and has just released a new CD, "Blasted in the Basement."