Mary Catherine "Taffy" Nivert Danoff[2] (born October 25, 1944, in Washington, D.C.) is an American songwriter and singer. She is best known for being a member of the Starland Vocal Band.

Taffy Nivert
Birth nameMary Catherine Nivert
Born (1944-10-25) October 25, 1944 (age 75)
Washington, D.C. [1]
Occupation(s)Songwriter, singer
Associated actsBill Danoff, Starland Vocal Band, John Denver


Mary Catherine Nivert was born 25 October 1944. She received her nickname Taffy from her elder brother who, unable to pronounce her middle name as a young child, would call her Mary Tafferine.[3] Nivert began singing along with the radio in high school. She was discovered by a bartender in Georgetown after he heard her singing to a jukebox. The bartender asked if she wanted to join a vocal group, and through this, she met her future husband Bill Danoff.[4]

Nivert began performing with Danoff as Fat City in the late 1960s. Initially a folk duo, the two later married and recorded four albums, the latter two credited to Bill & Taffy.[5]

In 1970, while traveling to Taffy's family reunion, Bill began writing what would become "Take Me Home, Country Roads". The couple planned to complete the song and sell it to Johnny Cash. However, when Fat City opened for John Denver at The Cellar Door in December 1970, they decided to show it to him. Denver, who had injured his thumb in a car crash hours before, arrived at Bill and Taffy's apartment in the early hours of the morning, where Bill, Taffy, and Denver finished the song. The next night, they performed the completed song, with Taffy holding the lyric sheet, and it went on to become a hit song for Denver on RCA Victor in early 1971, and included on his album Poems, Prayers, and Promises, along with "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado," which Bill and Taffy also wrote. Additionally, Bill and Taffy sang backup on four of the album's tracks.[4]

Bill and Taffy Danoff married in 1972.[3] In 1976, the Danoffs paired with Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman to form the Starland Vocal Band. Signed to John Denver's record label Windsong Records, they were most famous for the hit song "Afternoon Delight".[6] The group released several albums before breaking up in 1981. Bill and Taffy later divorced.

Nivert lived until 2011 in Washington, D.C., where she occasionally performed with Bill Danoff and the rest of the Starland Vocal Band. She then moved to Safety Harbor, Florida.[7]



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)[8]

Bill & Taffy

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

Starland Vocal Band


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


  1. ^ "Eugene Register-Guard - Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ "Taffy Nivert".
  3. ^ a b "For Bill and Taffy Danoff, Pop Music Fame Is More Than Just An Afternoon Delight :".
  4. ^ a b "'Country Roads' Kept Taffy Nivert Danoff Home - — Entertainment, the arts, alternative news for W.Va. - Graffiti".
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Rosenfield, Jeffrey (February 8, 2013). "Grammy Winner Taffy Nivert Settles In Safety Harbor". Safety Harbor Patch. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Theme music for 1972 Winter Olympics. Limited edition (200 copies) one-sided promo LP with six tracks.