Friday, July 08, 2005

Donna's Band Keeps Playing


See, there is real life beyond the spotlight.

Another woman who discovered that is Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay. Starting her career as a session vocalist at the fabled Muscle Shoals Studios, she sang on numerous hit records for the likes of Percy Sledge, Neil Diamond, Ben E. King and Elvis Presley. She later moved to San Francisco and married a piano player named Keith Godchaux. In 1971, Keith became a member of the Grateful Dead, and eventually Donna would also join them as a singer. The couple left the band in 1979, ravaged by the Dead's rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Keith died in an accident a year later, and Donna moved back to the south to lead a quieter life. The rest is history. Or so she thought.

Back on the road with the Heart of Gold Band -- which includes her son with Keith, Zion, her husband David and her brother Brian -- Donna Jean continues to make music that's "about a greater sense of community. We are all playing in the band together." Donna and the HGB roll into Six Rivers in McKinleyville on Saturday, July 9, to prove that the music never stops.

From the North Coast Journal Weekly

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