INFORMATION

Artist Birtday : 07/05/1946 (Age 75)
Born In : Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation(s) : Songwriter, singer
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William Thomas Danoff (born May 7, 1946) is an American songwriter and singer. He is known for “Afternoon Delight”, which he wrote and performed as a member of the Starland Vocal Band, and writing hits for John Denver, such as “Take Me Home, Country Roads“.

Early life and education

Danoff is a graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and of Georgetown University.

Career

Starland Vocal Band

On the strength of their track record as songwriters, Danoff and Nivert recorded several albums before forming the Starland Vocal Band with local musicians Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman. The group recorded “Afternoon Delight” which became a hit in July 1976, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 on July 10th. The Starland Vocal Band Show replaced Rhoda with a half-hour weekly series that same summer. Danoff and Nivert also worked with director Robert Altman and producer Jerry Weintraub on the film Nashville, doing research with screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury.

Songwriting

Danoff and his then-wife Taffy Nivert wrote “I Guess He’d Rather Be in Colorado” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” both of which were hits for John Denver. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is an official state song of West Virginia. Danoff has stated he had never been in West Virginia before co-writing the song, having written it in a house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. He had even briefly considered using “Massachusetts” rather than “West Virginia”, as both four-syllable state names would have fit the song’s meter. Denver recorded about a dozen Danoff compositions from 1972 through the end of his career.

Danoff also worked with Emmylou Harris co-authoring “Boulder to Birmingham” (one of Harris’ better-known compositions) with her. This track was recorded by The Walker Brothers in 1975 and The Hollies in 1976, and became a Top 10 hit in New Zealand. In 1982, Danoff and fellow Starland Vocal Band member Jon Carroll wrote “Who Knows How To Make Love Stay”, a Top 40 Canadian hit for Doug and the Slugs.

Danoff taught a songwriters course in 2007 and a music industry seminar (with Walter Egan) in 2008 at his alma mater Georgetown University.

Personal life

Danoff married Taffy Nivert in 1972. Both appeared together in the Starland Vocal Band; they divorced after the band’s breakup in 1981.

Danoff has three children: two daughters and a son, Owen, who auditioned for The Voice season 10.

ARTIST PHOTO

Bill Danoff

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