Buddy Holly and John Denver are not the same person. To most people, this is obvious. To a former coworker, however, it was not. He thought they were the same person. So just to clear up any lingering confusion, I’d like to get that out of the way.
Having said that, the two musicians actually do have a fair amount in common. Both performers hailed from the American southwest; Holly from Lubbock, TX and Denver from Roswell, NM. Both wore distinctive styles of glasses and both performed under stage names, respective birthnames being Charles Hardin Holley and Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. Both made a substantial impact on their respective genres with their guitars and their songs. Holly was an influential figure in the development of rock and roll while Denver simply had a ton of success as a folk/country artist. Sadly, both also died in plane crashes; Holly along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper on “The Day The Music Died”, Denver while piloting his new experimental Rutan Long-EZ plane.
Musically, the two didn’t share much in common, as the above-cited divergence implies. Stylistic differences of their music does seem to make the notion that these two guys are the same person kind of laughable. The original reaction to our co-worker’s suggestion was that the comparison was a great disservice to Holly’s memory. Admittedly, between the two guys, that’s my musical preference, but you know what? John Denver was a pretty solid guy who did lots of humanitarian work, supporting issues like environmental preservation, world hunger and space exploration while opposing censorship in the music industry. Check out his Wikipedia page and read all about him. Chances are, you’ll be impressed. I’ll bet Buddy Holly would find the comparison flattering too.