In Response To: Question? ()
Though I was a huge JD fan in the early mid 70's, I much prefer Mary Travers's version (of Peter, Paul & Mary). Her album jacket said John Denver was the songwriter so I didn't know until later MJ was the main writer. That was my mother's favorite song also. She loved the words so it's very special to me. I played Mary's version for Michael a few years ago. He claimed he didn't know Mary had recorded it which I find hard to believe because of royalties.
The Kuehn family are very old friends of Michael, and he and Mark and Ted hung out there and Annie introduced him to Sally. Annie's first rain is about Annie Kuehn. As Michael told me, Laurie was Annie's younger sister and they worked on Circus and John was just kind of hanging around and contributed a little and then he didn't want Laurie to get songwriting credit but Michael insisted. That's what he told me.
I'll put both songs up on YouTube in a few minutes. They're from 1968 so very early. He sang Circus to me in the late 90's and the words were then closer to JD and Mary's version than this early version.