The Grateful Dead: Many Years of Legendary Music

Written by on June 2, 2015

grateful dead

The Grateful Dead: Many Years of Legendary Music

Known for their unique and eclectic style of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelic, space rock, but most importantly Jam Band, the Grateful Dead was one of a kind. Formed in 1965, the founding members included Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, both on guitar and vocals, Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan on the keyboards, harmonica and vocals, Phil Lesh on the bass and vocals and lastly Bill Kreutzmann on the drums.

Grateful Dead built a strong fan-base when they first started, playing many free concerts. After failing a few times at studio recordings, they realized that live shows were their calling. In 1968, under Warner Bros, the band released the Anthem Of The Sun album, which was finally much better received. The following year they released their first live album and in 1970 their next two albums Workingmans Dead and American Beauty were released. In 1972 the album Europe ’72 was released, making it the last album that featured Pigpen. The next year he unfortunately passed away and was replaced by Keith Godcheaux. His wife also joined the band on vocals. During the 70’s the band released ten albums and at the end of 1979 the Godcheaux’s left the band after a few years. The band eventually developed such a strong fan base that they would follow them on tour and eventually gained the nickname “Deadheads”.

In 1980 the band released the album Go To Heaven, which contained the band’s first hit single “Alabama Getaway”. Although the album wasn’t favored by the fans, the song became a Top Ten Hit in the 80’s. On top of being ranked 57th in the issue ‘The Greatest Artists of All Time’ by Rolling Stones magazine, in 1994 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University that happened on May 8, 1977 was also added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

In 1990 the death of Mydland happened, making the third keyboardist of the Grateful Dead to pass away. In 1995, Garcia died from detoxing off of opiates and things changed severally after that! Some years later in 2003 they changed their name to ‘The Dead’ adding Warren Haynes as the lead guitar player and leaving off “Grateful” in honor of Garcia. The band toured for many more years, even playing in 2008 in support of Barack Obama. Recently the legendary band, The Dead will play in Chicago Solider Field a series of Fare Thee Well Shows. Picking the last place Garcia played with the band.  Although they will be missed, their legendary music will never be gone. To keep their vibe around today, tune in to Deep Jams Radio for an awesome stream of live music that includes the Grateful Dead and many, many more great jam band artists.

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