Donna Jean Godchaux Band with special guest Mookie Siegel
featuring Mark Karan / Kenny Brooks
Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 8:00 PM EDT
Iridium, New York, NY
Born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Donna Jean was a vocalist at both Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Fame Studios, home of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound, on records like Elvis Presleys Suspicious Minds,Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman, and Boz Scagg’s eponymous first solo album.
Godchaux then finally moved to the West Coast. She worked with a group of backup singers (Jeannie Green and Ginger and Mary Holladay) who called themselves Southern Comfort and is credited as Donna Thatcher on Cher’s 1969 release 3614 Jackson Highway, as well as on Elvis Presley’s From Elvis in Memphis and Elvis Back in Memphis albums, among others.
She married Keith Godchaux, and spent the 1970s as a vocalist in the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band. As the only woman officially billed as a member of the Grateful Dead, Donna Jean Godchaux held her own on-stage with the rest of the boys.
After life with the Dead, she and Keith created the Heart of Gold Band with drummer Greg Anton and guitarist Steve Kimock.
However, her history as a singer isn’t relegated to jam band history. Her backing vocals can be found on all kinds of records before and after her stint with the Dead.