Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay
August 22, 1947
A native of Sheffield, Donna Thatcher Godchaux Mackay began her career as a background vocalist while still a student at Sheffield High School.
She worked recording sessions not only in the Muscle Shoals music industry, but also in Memphis and Nashville, where she recorded with Elvis Presley.
In the early 1970's she met and married Keith Godchaux, a keyboard player in California. Soon after the couple joined the Grateful Dead in San Francisco and toured and recorded with that group until 1979. Among the albums the Godchauxs appear on are, "Europe '72", "Wake of the Flood", "From The Mars Hotel", "Blues for Allah", "Terrapin Station" and "What A Long Strange Trip It's Been".
During their tenure with the group, The Grateful Dead, which got its name from an ancient Egyptian prayer, played three concerts at the foot of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. It was the first time the Department of Antiquities of Egypt had allowed such an event to be staged in that location.
A year after leaving the Grateful Dead, Keith Godchaux was killed in a tragic auto accident.
Donna has returned to live in the Shoals area and is active in the Christian ministry. In 1997 she released a CD titled “Donna Jean”, a positive rock album utilizing the many talented musicians of Muscle Shoals.