Today’s song is Leaving on a Jet Plane, by Peter, Paul and Mary.
Peter Paul and Mary went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Leavin’ On A Jet Plane’. John Denver wrote the song in 1966 with the original title of ‘Oh Babe I Hate to Go.’
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter John Denver in 1966, originally included on his debut demo recording John Denver Sings as “Babe I Hate to Go”. He made several copies and gave them out as presents for Christmas of that year. Denver’s then producer Milt Okun convinced him to change the title and was renamed “Leaving on a Jet Plane” in 1967.
In 1969, simultaneous to the success of the Peter, Paul and Mary version, Denver recorded the song again for his debut studio album, Rhymes & Reasons, and it was released as a single in October 1969 through RCA Records. Although it is one of John Denver’s best-known songs, his single failed to enter the charts.
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” was re-recorded for the third and final time in 1973 for John Denver’s Greatest Hits, the version that also appears on most of his compilation albums.
The most well-known version was recorded by American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, for their 1967 studio album, Album 1700, and Warner Bros.- Seven Arts released it as a single in 1969 after being one of four songs on a promo EP in 1967. John Denver was a close friend of theirs and they shared the same producer in that time, Milt Okun.
It was Peter, Paul and Mary’s biggest (and final) hit, becoming their only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It was the penultimate #1 single of the 1960s, and the song also spent three weeks atop the easy listening chart and was used in commercials for United Airlines in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The song also topped the charts in Canada and reached No. 2 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in February 1970. In fact, it was the only version of the song that charted.