Bill Danoff

William Thomas Danoff (born May 7, 1946) is an American songwriter and singer.[1] 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".[2]

Bill Danoff
Danoff as he appeared in a Starland Vocal Band promotional photo dated June 1977
Danoff as he appeared in a Starland Vocal Band promotional photo dated June 1977
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Thomas Danoff
Born (1946-05-07) May 7, 1946 (age 74)
Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation(s)Songwriter, singer
Associated actsTaffy Nivert, Starland Vocal Band, John Denver

Early life and educationEdit

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


Starland Vocal BandEdit

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.[3]


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.[4] 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.[5]

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 lifeEdit

Danoff married Taffy Nivert in 1972.[6] Both appeared together in Starland Vocal Band, and they divorced after the band’s breakup in 1981.

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



Fat City

  • Reincarnation (ABC, 1969)
  • Welcome To Fat City (Paramount, 1971)

John Denver with Bill Danoff - Taffy Nivert

  • Victory Is Peace (Tomorrow Entertainment ER-7209-LP, 1972)[7]

Bill & Taffy

  • Pass It On (RCA, 1973)
  • Aces (RCA, 1974)

Starland Vocal Band

Bill Danoff

  • Souvenir (Watch Your Head, 1990)
  • I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado (Watch Your Head, 2002)
  • Blasted In The Basement (Oasis, 2007)

John Denver with Fat City

  • "Take Me Home, Country Roads" / "Poems, Prayers And Promises" (RCA, 1971)

Bill & Taffy

  • "Pass It On" / "Didn't I Try" (RCA UK, 1973)
  • "Maybe" / "How Lucky Can You Be" (RCA Germany, 1974)
  • "Maybe" (stereo) / "Maybe" (mono) (RCA promo, 1974)

Starland Vocal Band

  • Capital Acoustics: Contemporary & Traditional Folk Music of the Washington DC Area (Institute of Musical Traditions, 1991), "Trying To Live In Time"
  • The 8th Annual World Folk Music Association Benefit Concert (World Folk Music Association, 1993), "Potter's Wheel"
  • Jon Carroll and Love Returns at the Barns at Wolf Trap (FestivaLink, 2007, Internet release), "Blasted In The Basement"


  1. ^ "Bill Danoff". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ Seida, Linda. "Biography: Bill Danoff". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  3. ^ Reger, Jeff (March 13, 2008). "Take Me Home". The Georgetown Voice. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "West Virginia State Song, "Take Me Home Country Roads"". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Bill's Music Heritage". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ "For Bill and Taffy Danoff, Pop Music Fame Is More Than Just An Afternoon Delight". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  7. ^ Theme music for 1972 Winter Olympics. Limited edition (200 copies) one-sided promo LP with six tracks.

External linksEdit