Michael

Re: Today's YouTube video
In Response To: Re: Today's YouTube video ()

Fate of Fireflies is on two audio/video concerts. If you check the videos page on this site: http://www.mjblue.com/videos.html, I've listed all the YouTube videos and the concerts include the set lists. I show I have a few other concert board records of that song and if his voice are decent on any of them, I'll add one.

Yes, John Denver learned many songs from Michael and then recorded them: Amsterdam, Old Folks, Yellow Cat, Love of the Common People and of course, Catch Another Butterfly

Mr. Bojangles was an early song of Michael's but I don't know if Denver learned it from him. Sweet Misery was another common song.

Cindy

Catch Another Butterfly details (taken from https://www.cincinnatidancingpigs.com/SongNotes.html, a wealth of information of Denver, Boise & Johnson songs):

I think it’s reasonable that this song was performed at the last two concerts of Denver, Boise & Johnson and that John Denver left it off of the compilation tape. This is yet another song brought to DB&J by Michael Johnson and one that John recorded on his first album, “Rhymes and Reasons”. When the Balladeers first heard this song we all wanted to learn it immediately, and we did. It’s a great, great song and Michael Johnson’s distinctive classical guitar part on it was emulated by John when he went solo and by all of us who learned it.

The story is complete now, as much as it can be, of Mike Williams and this wonderful song of his, “Catch Another Butterfly”. Thanks to Mike for writing me back and filling in some holes about this song and about yourself. Mike says he wrote this song in September of 1966 and sang it on the day he wrote it, to Paul and Amy Johnson. “Johnson”, you say? Paul Johnson is Mike/Michael Johnson’s brother. Amy Johnson is also known as Crow Johnson, a famous singer/songwriter and as the one for whom the “Crow’s Nest” at the Kerrville Folk Festival is named. Michael Johnson has also recorded a number of Crow’s songs.

Mike Williams relates that from his memory, Michael Johnson was passing by Austin, TX on his way to Minneapolis and to joining the group Denver, Boise & Johnson, when he stopped by Paul and Amy Johnson’s place. They taught him “Catch Another Butterfly”. Michael drove north and taught the song to the Trio. Of course, we all know that John Denver and Michael Johnson took up the song when they went solo.

I was amazed to find out that Mike Williams and Steve Fromholz (of “Yellow Cat” fame) were in a duet in the spring of 1968, called “Frummox”. Mike and Steve were playing at a place called “Gigi’s Lounge” in Denver, when Steve got a call on the bar phone from Cherry Lane Publishing Company and was asked the question “Is it ok if John Denver records Steve’s “Yellow Cat” and Mike’s “Catch Another Butterfly” on his first album? The two Frummox gentlemen said “Yep, it was ok”. The rest is musical history. Thank you Mike for letting me and anyone else who reads this, know about your song. Mike has let me know that I can share not only his recollections of this wonderful song, but the words too, which contain an extra verse that not many people know. Some of us Balladeers knew this extra verse because Mike Johnson happened to do it in 1970 on a tape from the Wise Owl coffeehouse.