Keith Godchaux, keyboardist for the Grateful Dead from 1971-1979, was born on July 19th, 1948 and died on July 23rd, 1980. So this week is the anniversary of both his birth and his death.
To my mind, Keith was easily the best key man the Dead ever played with and it is evidenced by the beauty, tightness and growth the band exhibited during that period. Godchaux introduced a jazzy sound to the band that was forever lost in his absence.
Two years before Keith and wife/singer Donna Godchaux left the band, the Grateful Dead hit what many consider its peak. The spring tour of 1977. For many, they never surpassed this moment in time. But for me, the Keith and Donna years were extraordinary from start to finish.
Below you will find a live audio version of LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY, the only song Keith Godchaux wrote for and sang with the band.
So happy birthday, Mr. Godchaux. You are fondly and lovingly remembered.