Donna Godchaux

born on 22/8/1947 in Sheffield, AL, United States

Donna Jean Godchaux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Donna Jean Godchaux
Born August 22 1947
Florence, Alabama,
United States

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


Donna Jean 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 Florence, Alabama to work at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

In 2009, Donna Jean formed a brand new band with Jeff Mattson, The Donna Jean Godchaux Band w/Jeff Mattson, after re-entering the music scene with Jeff Mattson (of Phil Lesh and Friends, Zen Tricksters, and Dark Star Orchestra), and previously with 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, several years earlier.[5] She occasionally makes guest appearances with Bob Weir & Ratdog, Zero & Steve Kimock, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Dark Star Orchestra.

Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 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.


As group leader or co-leader

  • Keith & Donna Keith and Donna Godchaux 1975
  • Playing in the Heart of Gold Band The Ghosts 1984
  • The Heart of Gold Band The Heart of Gold Band 1986
  • Donna Jean The Donna Jean Band 1998
  • At the Table The Heart of Gold Band 2004
  • Donna Jean and the Tricksters Donna Jean and the Tricksters 2008

With the Grateful Dead

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

Main article: Grateful Dead discography

With other artists

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

  • From Elvis in Memphis Elvis Presley 1969
  • From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis Elvis Presley 1969
  • 3614 Jackson Highway Cher 1969
  • Boz Scaggs Boz Scaggs 1969
  • Ton-Ton Macoute! Johnny Jenkins 1970
  • Ace Bob Weir 1972
  • Demon in Disguise David Bromberg 1972
  • Gypsy Cowboy New Riders of the Purple Sage 1972
  • The Adventures of Panama Red New Riders of the Purple Sage 1973
  • Tales of the Great Rum Runners Robert Hunter 1974
  • Tiger Rose Robert Hunter 1975
  • Reflections Jerry Garcia 1976
  • Cats Under the Stars Jerry Garcia Band 1977
  • Here Goes Nothing Zero 1987
  • Laughing Water Jazz Is Dead 1999
  • Don't Let Go Jerry Garcia Band 2001
  • Worcester, MA, 4/4/73 New Riders of the Purple Sage 2003
  • Theatre 1839, July 29 & 30, 1977 Jerry Garcia Band 2004
  • Warner Theatre, March 18, 1978 Jerry Garcia Band 2005
  • For Rex: The Black Tie Dye Ball The Zen Tricksters and various artists 2006
  • Bay Area, 1978 Jerry Garcia Band 2009

See also

  • Muscle Shoals, Alabama
  • FAME Studios
  • Muscle Shoals Sound Studios


  1. [Donna Jean Godchaux at All Music Guide Sprovtsoff-Mangus, Rachel. Donna Jean Godchaux biography on Allmusic]
  2. Donna Jean Godchaux discography on
  3. [Donna Jean Godchaux at All Music Guide Sprovtsoff-Mangus, Rachel. Keith Godchaux biography on Allmusic]
  4. Donna Jean (Godchaux) MacKay interview by David Gans, The Truth and Fun Literary Archive, March 28, 1998
  5. The birth of the Donna Jean Godchaux Band,, March 3, 2009, Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  6. The Grateful Dead on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web site
  7. Donna Jean Godchaux With the Grateful Dead at the Grateful Dead Family discography.
  8. Donna Jean Godchaux With Others at the Grateful Dead Family discography.

External links

  • Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson official website
  • Grateful Dead official website
  • The Music Never Stopped: The Musical Journey of Donna Jean Godcheaux-McKay From
The Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia Bob Weir Vince Welnick Phil Lesh Bill Kreutzmann Mickey Hart
Brent Mydland Keith Godchaux Donna Jean Godchaux Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Tom Constanten
Studio albums: The Grateful Dead | Anthem of the Sun | Aoxomoxoa | Workingman's Dead | American Beauty | Wake of the Flood | Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel | Blues for Allah | Terrapin Station | Shakedown Street | Go to Heaven | In the Dark | Built to Last
Live albums: Live/Dead | Grateful Dead | Europe '72 | History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice) | Steal Your Face | Reckoning | Dead Set | Without a Net | One From the Vault | Infrared Roses | Two from the Vault | Hundred Year Hall | Dozin' at the Knick | Fallout from the Phil Zone | Live at the Fillmore East 2-11-69 | Ladies and Gentlemen ... The Grateful Dead | View From The Vault, Volume One | View From The Vault, Volume Two | Nightfall of Diamonds | Grateful Dead Documentary | Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72 | View from the Vault, Volume Three | Go to Nassau | The Closing of Winterland | Rockin' the Rhein with the Grateful Dead | The Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack | Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966 | Truckin' Up to Buffalo | Dicks Picks (36 Volumes) | Digital Download Series (12 Volumes)
Compilations/Box Sets: Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead | What a Long Strange Trip It's Been | Dead Zone: The Grateful Dead CD Collection (1977-1987) | The Arista Years | Selections from the Arista Years | So Many Roads (1965-1995) | The Golden Road (1965-1973) | Postcards of the Hanging | Birth of the Dead | The Very Best of the Grateful Dead | Beyond Description (1973-1989) | The Complete Fillmore West 1969 | Fillmore West 1969 | Grayfolded | Live at the Cow Palace |
This page was last modified 10.12.2011 20:00:41

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