Donna Jean Godchaux

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Donna Jean Godchaux
Donna-Godchaux.jpg
Godchaux singing with her band, November 6, 2009, Blacksburg, Virginia
Background information
Birth name Donna Jean Thatcher
Born (1947-08-22) August 22, 1947 (age 66)
Florence, Alabama
United States
Genres Rock, Folk rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1972–present
Associated acts Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia Band
Heart of Gold Band
Donna Jean Godchaux Band
Website donnajeangodchauxband.com

Donna Jean (Thatcher) Godchaux-MacKay (born August 22, 1947) is an American singer, best known for having been a member of the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979.

Biography[edit]

Donna Jean Thatcher was born in Florence, Alabama. Prior to 1970, she had worked as a session singer[1] in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, appearing on songs by Elvis Presley and Cher.[2] She met future fellow Grateful Dead member Keith Godchaux and they married in 1970.[3]

Donna introduced Keith to Jerry Garcia after Garcia's performance at San Francisco's Keystone Korner in October 1971. At the time, Donna Jean was not working as a musician. She joined the band shortly afterwards, remaining a member until February 1979.

Donna Jean provided back-up and lead vocals in the group's music. During their membership in the Grateful Dead, the couple also issued the mostly self-written Keith and Donna album in 1975 with Jerry Garcia as a Keith and Donna Band member. In turn, they performed as part of the Jerry Garcia Band.

Keith and Donna's son, Zion "Rock" Godchaux of BoomBox, was born in 1974. After the Grateful Dead, the couple started the Heart of Gold Band.

Donna did not perform again with any Grateful Dead band members until after the death of Jerry Garcia. Shortly after her husband's death in 1980, Donna Jean turned to religion.[4] She married bassist David MacKay (former Fiddleworms member and bassist for Donna Jean Godchaux Band) and the couple moved to her childhood town of Florence, Alabama, to record at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

In 2009, Donna Jean formed a brand new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson (of Phil Lesh and Friends, Zen Tricksters, and Dark Star Orchestra), after re-entering the music scene with Mattson and Mookie Siegel (of David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Ratdog) to form Kettle Joe's Psychedelic Swamp Revue, later known as Donna Jean & the Tricksters.[5] She occasionally makes guest appearances with Bob Weir & Ratdog, Zero & Steve Kimock, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Dark Star Orchestra.

In 1994, Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead.[6] She continues to reside in Florence, Alabama, and remains an active member of the Muscle Shoals music scene when not touring with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.

Discography[edit]

As group leader or co-leader[edit]

With the Grateful Dead[edit]

Donna Godchaux was a member of the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979 and appears on many of the band's albums.[7]

With other artists[edit]

Donna Godchaux (née Donna Thatcher) has contributed background or lead vocals on many albums by different artists.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]