Oral History Information
Donna Jean Godchaux was the only female singer with the Grateful Dead (on stage and on recordings) from 1971 until 1979. In fact, she was the first female singer with the group and was once married to the band's keyboard player. When she was just nine years old, she met Rick Hall before he opened Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. At the time, he had a small studio above the City drug store in town. She recorded backup on several demos over the years for Rick including the classic "When a Man Loves a Women." Donna Jean also sang back up for Elvis Presley in Memphis on a number of his recordings in the late 1960s including "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto".