Today marks the birthday of singer Donna Jean Godchaux. The former Grateful Dead vocalist, who was in the band with husband Keith Godchaux from 1972–1979, has had a career resurgence as of late. In the past decade, she has performed with Dead & Company at huge locations like Bonnaroo, Citi Field, Fenway Park, and The Gorge in addition to sitting in with various jam acts.
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member (inducted with the Dead in 1994) worked as a backup vocalist in Muscle Shoals, AL, recording with artists like Elvis Presley, Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman, Cher, and Neil Diamond, before she moved to California, married Keith, and became entangled in the world of the Grateful Dead.
In honor of Donna Jean’s birthday, watch her perform on this incredible 45-minute segment of music that goes from “St. Stephen” into “Not Fade Away,” then back into “St. Stephen” before transitioning into “Eyes Of The World”. This impressive performance comes from The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ on 9/18/1976.
Grateful Dead – “St. Stephen” -> “Not Fade Away” -> “St. Stephen” > “Eyes of the World” – Passaic, NJ – 9/18/1976
[Videos: Music Vault]
Additionally, watch Godchaux sit in Dark Star Orchestra during their headlining performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2018, which saw the Grateful Dead tribute act recreating the Grateful Dead’s iconic 7/8/78 Red Rocks show on its 40th anniversary.
Dark Star Orchestra – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO – 7/8/2018
Happy birthday, Donna Jean![Originally published 8/22/2019]