John Denver

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Composed by Dick Kniss / John Denver / Michael Taylor

Song Review by

John Denver wrote "Sunshine on My Shoulders" on a drizzling spring day in Minnesota. It originally was the B-side of "I'd Rather Be a Cowboy." As the Vietnam War began to end, "Sunshine..." took on a new significance and began to receive airplay on adult contemporary radio stations. It was also featured in the 1973 CBS-TV movie named Sunshine and its 1974 NBC-TV spin-off series. Produced by Milt Okun, the million-selling single went to number one pop, number one adult contemporary for two weeks in the spring of 1974. It was included on John Denver's Greatest Hits went gold, parking at number one pop for three weeks.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Poems, Prayers & Promises 1971 Night Fever Music
Take Me Home, Country Roads & Other Hits 1973 RCA 5:13
Greatest Hits 1973 BMG Heritage 5:13
No Image 1974
No Image 1976 RCA
Zijn Grootste Successen 1988 RCA
Gold Collection 1990 RCA
Wereldsterren 1990 RCA
Seine Größten Erfolge 1990 RCA
Voice of America 1993 PHANTOM SOUND & 5:11
The Very Best of John Denver [Sony] 1994 BMG Special Products/Heartland
Earth Songs 1995 Windstar 5:04
The Wildlife Concert 1995 Sony Music Distribution 5:16
The Rocky Mountain Collection 1996 RCA 5:14
Reflections: Songs of Love & Life 1996 RCA 5:14
Sunshine on My Shoulders [Laserlight] 1997 Laserlight 5:07
The Best of John Denver Live 1997 BMG / Legacy / Sony Music 5:23
Country Roads Collection 1997 RCA 5:10
Love Again: Greatest & Latest 1997 CMC Records 4:48
Celebration of Life 1997 River North / A&M 4:53
The Best of John Denver [Madacy] 1998 Madacy 4:53
The Collection [PMF] 1998 Pink Mastertone 5:06
Greatest Country Hits 1998 RCA 5:10
Rocky Mountain High: The Very Best of John Denver 1998 Delta Distribution 5:07
Favourites 1998 Import 5:11
The Best of John Denver [Cema] 1998 LCT 4:53
Made in America: Folk Favorites 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 5:10
Portrait 1999 RCA 5:13
Singers & Songwriters: 1974-1975 [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:13
No Image 2000 Delt1 / Delta 1 5:07
Take Me Home: The John Denver Story 2000 RCA 4:52
The Legendary John Denver 2000 BMG International 5:14
Take Me Home: The Collection 2000 Delta Distribution
Country Roads: Greatest Hits 2000 Delta Distribution / Legend 5:07
VH1 Behind the Music: The John Denver Collection 2000 RCA 5:13
Country Roads: The Very Best of John Denver [Windstar] 2000 Windstar 5:07
Best of Rocky Mountain Collection 2000 RCA
AM Gold: #1 Hits of the '70s - '70-'74 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:22
Sunshine on My Shoulders [Music Digital] 2001 Music Digital 5:07
Two Different Directions: Greatest Hits and Favorites 2002 Double Platinum 5:08
3 Originals 2002 Ariola International
Songs from the Heart 2003 BMG Special Products 5:07
The Very Best of Singers and Songwriters 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:12
The Collection [Empire Music] 2003 Empire Music Group Inc. / Music Club International Records 5:07
John Denver Collection 2003 Delta Distribution 5:07
The Essential 2004 Madacy 4:52
Memories of a Country Boy 2004 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 4:58
Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits 2004 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 5:12
A Song's Best Friend: The Very Best of John Denver 2004 RCA / BMG
Greatest Hits [Music Digital] 2005 Delta Distribution / Music Digital 5:07
No Image 2005 Dancing Bull Music 5:00
Greatest Hits [Paradiso] 2006 Paradiso 5:14
The Collection [RCA Legacy] 2006 RCA 5:11
Forever John Denver 2006 Madacy 4:52
16 Biggest Hits 2006 Legacy 5:15
Annie's Song: A Collection of His Finest Recordings 2006 Music Deluxe (UK) 5:07
The Essential John Denver 2007 RCA/Legacy 5:13
Live in the USSR 2007 AAO Music 3:50
Best Live 2007 Evosound 3:50
An Intimate Performance: Live New York 1995 2008 Immortal
Playlist: The Very Best of John Denver 2008 Sony Music
Great John Denver 2008 Red X 5:06
Gold: Greatest Hits 2008 Sony BMG 5:12
Romancing the 70s: Lovin' You 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:22
Sunshine on My Shoulders: The Best of John Denver 2009 5:07
The Music of John Denver 2009 Legacy / Col / RCA/Legacy 5:11
Unplugged in the U.S.S.R. 2009 AAO Music 3:50
Rocky Mountain High: Live in Japan 1981 [Video] 2009 Eagle Rock Entertainment
John Denver (5CD) 2009 Delta Leisure 5:07
Double Play 2010 Legacy / RCA / Sony Legacy / Sony Music Entertainment 5:25
Singers & Songwriters [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:13
The Ultimate Collection 2011 Sony Music 5:14
The RCA Albums Collection 2012 Legacy / RCA 5:13
Singers & Songwriters: 1974-1975 2012
Various Artists
Time / Time/Life Music 5:13
Romantically Yours: Greatest Love of All 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:15
Romancing the '60s [Time] 2013
Various Artists
StarVista / Time/Life Music 3:22
The Box Set Series 2014 Legacy / RCA 5:15
Just for You 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:13
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 5:07
Easy Listening Classics/Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:12
Forever Friends: Always and Forever
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:12
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:15
Sail Away '70s
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:13
The  Complete Collection BMG
blue highlight denotes editor's pick