Thank God I'm a Country Boy

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
Single by John Denver
from the album Back Home Again
B-side "My Sweet Lady"
Released March 1975
Format 7"
Recorded August 26, 1974
Genre Country folk
Length 3:13 (1974 studio version)
3:40 (live version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) John Martin Sommers
Producer(s) Milton Okun
John Denver singles chronology
"Sweet Surrender"
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
"I'm Sorry"
Audio sample
file info · help
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
Single by Billy Dean
from the album Let Them Be Little
Released 2004
Genre Country
Label Curb
Producer(s) Ray Barnette, Billy Dean, Lari White
Billy Dean singles chronology
"I'm in Love with You"
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
"Let Them Be Little"

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy", also known as "Country Boy", is a song written by John Martin Sommers[1] and recorded by American singer/songwriter John Denver.

The song was originally included on Denver's 1974 album Back Home Again.

A version recorded live on August 26, 1974 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles was included on his 1975 album An Evening with John Denver.

The live version was released as a single and went to No. 1 on both the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles [2] and Billboard Hot 100 charts.[3] The song topped both charts for one week each, first the country chart (on May 31), and the Hot 100 chart a week later.

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Denver's two-sided hit "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso" also received that distinction.


The song was written by John Martin Sommers, a guitar/banjo/fiddle/mandolin player in Denver's backup band, on December 31, 1973 (coincidentally Denver's thirtieth birthday) when he was driving from his home in Aspen, Colorado to Los Angeles.[4]


Sommers recalls that at the time he was feeling “peaceful, happy and content” with his lot in life, and started scribbling some notes about his blissful state along the way. They served as the inspiration for the song.


The song can be felt in a fast 4/4 time signature or in cut (2/2) time that is typical of two-step. If felt in 4/4 time, both the verse and chorus comprise eight measures of 4/4 with a measure of 2/4 added on the end of each. Emotionally, this creates an intended slight stall. Alternatively, if felt in cut (2/2) time, the verse and chorus will each have four measures of two, with an added measure of one beat.

Chart performance

John Denver version

Chart (1975) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[6] 5
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Billy Dean version

Chart (2004) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 27

Cover versions


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 103.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 173.
  4. Smith, Dean. "Baltimore?s Seventh-Inning Tradition Within a Tradition". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  5. "John Denver – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for John Denver.
  6. "John Denver – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for John Denver.
  7. "John Denver – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for John Denver.
  8. "Billy Dean – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Billy Dean.
  9. Gill, Ben (2006-02-12). "New Party Ben Mix-Type Items That Hopefully Aren't as Bad as "Wipeout Taffy!"". Party Ben Information Systems. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
Preceded by
"Roll On Big Mama" by Joe Stampley
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
May 24 - May 31, 1975 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Window Up Above" by Mickey Gilley
Preceded by
"I'm Not Lisa" by Jessi Colter
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

May 31, 1975 (one week)
Preceded by
"Before the Next Teardrop Falls" by Freddy Fender
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 7, 1975 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Sister Golden Hair" by America
Preceded by
RPM Country Tracks number-one single of the year
Succeeded by
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