Take Me Home, Country Roads

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"Take Me Home, Country Roads"
John Denver with Fat City take me home country roads 1971 A-side US vinyl.jpg
Single by John Denver
from the album Poems, Prayers & Promises
ReleasedApril 12, 1971 (1971-04-12)
Format7-inch single
RecordedJanuary 1971, New York City
GenreCountry[1]
Length3:17
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
John Denver singles chronology
"Friends With You"
(1971)
"Take Me Home, Country Roads"
(1971)
"Everyday"
(1972)
Audio
"Take Me Home, Country Roads" (audio) at YouTube

"Take Me Home, Country Roads", (also called "Take Me Home" or "Country Roads") is a song written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver about the state of West Virginia. It was released as a single performed by Denver on April 12, 1971. It got to number 2 on Billboard's US Hot 100 singles for the week ending August 28, 1971. The song was a success on its first release. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 18, 1971, and Platinum on April 10, 2017.[2] The song became one of John Denver's most popular songs. It still sells, with over 1.5 million digital copies sold in the United States.[3] It is considered to be Denver's signature song.[4]

The song has a status as an iconic symbol of West Virginia, which it describes as "almost Heaven". In March 2014, it became one of the four official state anthems of West Virginia.

Reception in West Virginia[change | change source]

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" received a positive response from West Virginia people. The song is the theme song of West Virginia University. It has been performed during every home football pregame show since 1972.

This song was played at the funeral memorial for West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd at the state capitol in Charleston on July 2, 2010.[5]

The popularity of the song has gotten bills in the West Virginia Legislature to make "Take Me Home, Country Roads" an official state song. On March 7, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature approved a bill to make "Take Me Home, Country Roads" an official state song of West Virginia. They did this along three other songs: "West Virginia Hills", "This is My West Virginia", and "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home".[6] Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the resolution into law on March 8, 2014.[7]

Personnel[change | change source]

Charts[change | change source]

Chart (1971) Peak
position
Illegal chart entered Canadatopsingles 3
Illegal chart entered Canadaadultcontemporary 5
Illegal chart entered Canadacountry 17
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 2
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[9] 3
US Hot Country Singles (Billboard)[10] 50

Certifications[change | change source]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[11] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 500,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[2] Platinum 1,535,000[3]

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Other versions[change | change source]

Fallout 76 version[change | change source]

A cover version of the song, a collaboration between Copilot Music and Sound and the vocal group Spank, exists. It was commissioned for and shown in both the teaser and full E3 2018 trailers for the 2018 video game, Fallout 76. The game's story is set in West Virginia.[13] Released as an iTunes-only single on July 4, 2018, the song reached #1 on the iTunes singles chart.[14] It debuted at #41 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart that week and at #21 on Billboard's Country Digital Songs the following week.[14] The official YouTube upload of the original John Denver recording, first uploaded in 2013, would later edit its description to mention the use of the song in the game.[15]

Charts
Chart (2018) Peak
position
US Country Digital Songs (Billboard)[14] 21
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[14] 41

References[change | change source]

  1. Kurt Wolff; Orla Duane (2000). Country Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides. p. 425. ISBN 978-1-85828-534-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "American single certifications – John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Road". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bjorke, Matt (March 9, 2019). "Top 30 Digital Country Tracks: March 11, 2019". Roughstock. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  4. "John Denver - UNPLUGGED COLLECTION [IMPORT] Music CDs" (list), Choose, 2007, webpage: JD-Collect Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Garcia, Jon (July 2, 2010). "Eulogizing Sen. Robert Byrd: The Hard Working, if Imperfect, Senator". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 5, 2010.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-16. Retrieved 2014-03-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2014-03-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Illegal name entered John Denver/John+Denver/chart?f=379 John Denver Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for John Denver. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  9. "Illegal name entered John Denver/John+Denver/chart?f=341 John Denver Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs for John Denver. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  10. "Hot Country Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 83 (36): 32. September 4, 1971. ISSN 0006-2510.
  11. "Italian single certifications – John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 15, 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Take Me Home, Country Roads" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  12. "British single certifications – John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Take Me Home, Country Roads in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  13. Kuchera, Ben (11 June 2018). "Fallout 76 has everyone humming John Denver". Polygon. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Hampp, Andrew (31 July 2018). "Songs for Screens: How a John Denver Classic Resurfaced Thanks to 'Fallout 76'". Variety. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  15. "John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Roads (Audio)". YouTube. April 5, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2018. John Denver's official audio for 'Take Me Home, Country Roads', as featured on Fallout 76.