Jerry Garcia was a musician and the front man of The Grateful Dead. A key figure in rock history, Jerry played lead guitar for over three decades and wrote some of the most iconic songs in popular music including “Scarlet Begonias” and “Uncle John’s Band”.

Jerry Garcia was a musician and songwriter. He is best known for his work with the Grateful Dead, but was also an accomplished solo artist. Jerry Garcia died in 1995 at age 53. His wife Deborah Koons Garcia is still alive today. Read more in detail here: jerry garcia spouse.

Jerry Garcia Biography, Songs, & Albums |

Workingman's Dead Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jerry Garcia was best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead, the rock band for which he served as de facto leader for 30 years, from 1965 until his death in 1995. Concurrently for much of that time, he also led his own Jerry Garcia Band (JGB), and he performed and recorded in a variety of configurations and a variety of styles, particularly styles of folk and country music, sometimes switching to banjo or pedal steel guitar for the purpose. But the Grateful Dead remained his primary musical outlet, and he performed thousands of concerts with them and appeared on dozens of their albums (many of them live recordings), 28 of which reached the Billboard charts during his lifetime, including the million-sellers Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty, Europe ’72, Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of Grateful Dead, What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been: The Best of the Grateful Dead, and In the Dark, and another eight that went gold. The Grateful Dead were not primarily a singles act, but Garcia composed or co-composed the music for four of the six singles the band placed in the Billboard Hot 100, “Uncle John’s Band,” “Truckin’,” “Alabama Getaway,” and the Top Ten hit “Touch of Grey,” as well as his only solo chart single, “Sugaree.” In addition to his musical efforts, Garcia was viewed as an icon and spokesman for the hippie movement of the 1960s, the counterculture fueled by psychedelic drugs and rock & roll that the Grateful Dead embodied for their fervent fans, the Deadheads, as well as to the public at large.

Jerome John Garcia was born on August 1, 1942, in San Francisco, California, to Jose Ramon Garcia and Ruth Marie (Clifford) Garcia. He was named after show song composer Jerome Kern. His father was a Spanish immigrant who had worked as a clarinetist/saxophonist and bandleader until a conflict with the musicians union forced him to retire from music and purchase a pub; his mother had worked as a nurse before marrying. Garcia began piano lessons as a kid and showed an early interest in music. He was a victim of two early traumas. He lost the top part of his right middle finger in a wood-chopping accident when he was four years old, and his father drowned while fishing the following year. His mother took over the tavern’s administration, and he was forced to live with his grandparents for the next five years until returning to his mother in 1953 when she remarried. Garcia’s family moved about San Francisco and its environs, and he attended a variety of schools where he was an unmotivated student who was forced to repeat eighth grade. He became more interested in painting during the summer of 1957, when he attended the California School of Fine Arts, and his mother got him a guitar for his 15th birthday (after he convinced her to take back the accordion she had given him at first). He was soon performing in high school bands. He remained disinterested in learning, however, and dropped out in January 1960, at the age of 17. He enrolled in the Army in April 1960, but he was found to be unsuitable to army life and was dishonorably discharged in December 1960.

Now 18 years old, Garcia moved to Palo Alto, California, where he lived informally over the next several years, playing in clubs and bookstores near the campus of Stanford University and encountering many of the people he would work with for the rest of his career. Among them was the aspiring poet Robert Hunter, who would become his lyric partner, but who now played bass with him in a duo, Bob & Jerry, and later in other groups. The early ’60s was the period of a folk music revival, and Garcia became an avid student of folk, old-time country, and bluegrass music, playing both the acoustic guitar and banjo in ad hoc groups with names like the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, the Wildwood Boys, and the Hart Valley Drifters over the next two years. In the winter of 1962-1963, he met Sara Lee Ruppenthal, an undergraduate student at Stanford, and they formed a duo called Jerry & Sara. They married on April 25, 1963, and their daughter Heather Garcia, who later became a classical violinist, was born on December 8, 1963.

Surrealistic Pillow With his marriage, Garcia settled down somewhat, taking a job teaching in a music store. During 1964, he began playing in a jug band, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, that also featured guitarist/singer Bob Weir and singer/harmonica player/keyboardist Ron McKernan (aka Pigpen). At the turn of 1965, the group took up electric instruments and became a rock & roll band, adding drummer Bill Kreutzmann and renaming themselves the Warlocks. Phil Lesh, another friend of Garcia’s, joined on bass by June 1965, and in December the quintet first performed under its new name, the Grateful Dead. Their first single, comprising the traditional songs “Stealin’” and “Don’t Ease Me In,” was released by Scorpio Records in June 1966, and Garcia was the lead vocalist on both tracks. That fall, he took a step toward greater recognition outside the band by serving (without credit) as the producer of fellow San Francisco rock band Jefferson Airplane’s second album, Surrealistic Pillow. In addition to helping with arrangements and playing guitar on the LP, he also suggested its title, but he was barred contractually from being named the album’s producer, instead being listed as “musical and spiritual advisor.” Meanwhile, the Grateful Dead signed to Warner Bros. Records for the release of their first album, The Grateful Dead, in March 1967. Featuring the Garcia-written song “Cream Puff War,” the LP peaked in the Top 100. By this time, Garcia was separated from his wife, from whom he was later divorced, and living with Carolyn Adams (aka Mountain Girl), the woman with whom he had the longest relationship in his complicated romantic life. The couple had two daughters, Annabelle, born in 1970, and Theresa, born in September 1974.

Anthem of the Sun Although all the tracks on the Grateful Dead’s second album, a combination of live and studio recordings called Anthem of the Sun released in July 1968, were credited to the group as songwriters, Garcia had enlisted his friend Robert Hunter to write lyrics to some of the songs, and the Garcia/Hunter songwriting partnership officially premiered on the band’s third album, Aoxomoxoa, released in June 1969. (Actually, all the songs on the album were written by Hunter, Garcia, and Phil Lesh.) The Grateful Dead favorite “Dark Star,” a Garcia/Hunter collaboration, was given its definitive live reading on the band’s next album, Live/Dead, released in November 1969. By this point, Garcia had begun to work extensively with other musicians while maintaining his tenure in the Grateful Dead. Taking up the pedal steel guitar, he helped form the New Riders of the Purple Sage with singer/songwriter John Dawson and guitarist David Nelson, the latter one of his old friends from his Palo Alto days, the band filled out by Grateful Dead members Lesh and Mickey Hart (a drummer who had joined the Grateful Dead in 1967). This country-rock outfit began opening shows for the Grateful Dead. At the same time, Garcia was doing recording sessions with other musicians including the Jefferson Airplane (Volunteers), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (the pedal steel on the hit “Teach Your Children” from Déjà Vu), and It’s a Beautiful Day (Marrying Maiden), among others. His first track as a solo performer was “Love Scene,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1970 film Zabriskie Point. He also began playing in a pickup band in a club in San Francisco with keyboardist Howard Wales, beginning a string of gigs that would lead to the JGB, although the more immediate result was his first “solo” album, an LP actually credited to Wales and him, called Hooteroll?, released by Douglas Records in 1971.

Powerglide Garcia and the Grateful Dead’s interest in country-rock was explored on the band’s fifth album, Workingman’s Dead, released in May 1970, with Garcia writing or co-writing seven of the album’s eight tracks, including “Uncle John’s Band,” the Grateful Dead’s first chart hit. The band’s sixth album, American Beauty, was released in November of that year, and Garcia was involved in the writing of seven of the album’s ten songs, including “Friend of the Devil,” which was later covered by Counting Crows, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Chris Smither, among others, and “Ripple,” which was later covered by Rick Danko, Perry Farrell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Chris Hillman. After these two successful albums, the Grateful Dead returned to a more diversified approach, while the New Riders of the Purple Sage’s self-titled first album, issued by Columbia Records in the summer of 1971, stayed in the country-rock sound. Garcia left the New Riders amicably the following autumn, although he appeared on their next album, Powerglide, and subsequently produced their live album, Home, Home on the Road, in 1974. The first half of Garcia’s first solo album for Warner Bros. Records, Garcia, released in January 1972, was also somewhat of a follow-up to Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. (There was more experimental material in the second half.) The album, which included the hit track “Sugaree,” charted in the Top 40. Shortly after, Fantasy Records issued Heavy Turbulence, a record billed to pianist Merl Saunders but featured Garcia’s club band, which was now co-led by Saunders, who had taken over for Wales. The band would also appear on Saunders’ albums Fire Up (1973) and Live at Keystone (1974), both of which were recorded in July 1973 and released in the spring of 1974.

Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) Meanwhile, the Grateful Dead’s seventh album, a live double LP titled Grateful Dead (and sometimes called “Skull & Roses” for its cover illustration and to distinguish it from the band’s debut album), had appeared in September 1971, featuring two new Garcia/Hunter songs, “Bertha” and “Wharf Rat.” Their eighth, a triple LP called Europe ’72, released in November 1972, introduced such Garcia/Hunter compositions as “He’s Gone,” “Brown-Eyed Woman,” and “Tennessee Jed.” While continuing to perform with the Grateful Dead and with his club band with Merl Saunders, Garcia founded a third band in the winter of 1973, returning to his love of bluegrass and playing banjo in a group called Old & in the Way that gave its first public performance on March 1. Along with Garcia, the members included mandolin player David Grisman, guitarist Peter Rowan, and bassist John Kahn (also in the band with Saunders), with the fiddle chair held by either Richard Greene or Vassar Clements. This group lasted a year and cut a live album that was released in 1975 by Round Records and made the Top 100. Round Records was a subsidiary of Grateful Dead Records, which the group founded in 1973 upon the expiration of their contract with Warner Bros. The label’s first release was Wake of the Flood, the Grateful Dead’s first studio album in nearly three years, which appeared in October 1973 and featured five songs composed by Garcia among its seven selections.

Garcia (Compliments) Garcia’s second solo album, also titled Garcia, was released in June 1974 on Round Records. Because of the caption “Compliments Of” that appeared on a sticker on promotional copies delivered to radio stations, fans started calling it Compliments of Garcia, and it was eventually renamed Compliments. The album had no new Garcia compositions and was more in the style of his club band, including a large number of cover tunes. Despite this, it made the Top 50. Within weeks, Grateful Dead Records released Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel, a new Grateful Dead studio album with five new Garcia/Hunter compositions among its eight tracks. The Grateful Dead performed a series of filmed and recorded gigs at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in October 1974, just before taking a break from touring. Garcia’s other live work, however, was unaffected. The Legion of Mary, his band with Saunders, had a name and continued to play regularly until the summer of 1975, when it disbanded. In 1975, Garcia divorced Carolyn Adams, his common-law wife, and started dating Deborah Koons, an aspiring director. He returned to Adams when that relationship ended in 1977.

Blues for Allah Despite their sabbatical from touring, the Grateful Dead released a new studio album, Blues for Allah, in August 1975, with Garcia writing the majority of the songs. Garcia formed the Jerry Garcia Band with his old sidekick, bassist John Kahn, and, at first, pianist Nicky Hopkins (soon replaced by Keith Godchaux, a member of the Grateful Dead since 1971) and drummer Ron Tutt in the autumn after disbanding the Legion of Mary. Although half of the songs included the Grateful Dead, the band was featured on Garcia’s next solo album, Reflections, which was released in February 1976. The album was likewise divided in terms of content, with half of the tracks being covers and the other half being new Garcia/Hunter tunes. It was somewhat successful, reaching at number 42 in the charts for 14 weeks, demonstrating that Garcia’s solo albums were selling to a part of the Grateful Dead fans filling in the gaps between the main band’s releases.

Steal Your Face! In June 1976, the Grateful Dead resumed touring and closed Grateful Dead Records (temporarily), joining with Arista Records after releasing Steal Your Face, a live album drawn from the Winterland gigs in October 1974. In the meanwhile, Garcia was significantly engaged in the editing of film captured during the gigs for The Grateful Dead Movie, which premiered on June 1, 1977. Terrapin Station, the Grateful Dead’s debut Arista album, was released on July 27, 1977, with Garcia co-composing the sidelong suite “Terrapin Part One.” Garcia was also signed to Arista as a solo artist, and Cats Under the Stars, his fourth solo album, was released in April 1978. The album was credited to the Jerry Garcia Band and included all original tunes by members of the band, with lyrics by Robert Hunter. Garcia wrote or co-wrote five of the album’s eight tunes. Despite being such a comprehensive effort, the album fell short of the Top 100. Shakedown Street, the Grateful Dead’s next studio album, was released in November 1978 and contained just three Garcia/Hunter compositions. Garcia and Kahn established Reconstruction, a jazz-oriented trio that featured Merl Saunders, towards the end of the year and performed mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area for the following nine months. Garcia reformed the band in October 1979, with Kahn, keyboardist Ozzie Ahlers, and drummer Johnny d’Fonseca, under the JGB label once again. The band would go through seven lineup changes over the following three years, with only Kahn remaining consistent.

Go to Heaven The Grateful Dead released Go to Heaven in April 1980, which would be their last studio album for the next seven years. Only two songs on the album were written by Garcia and Hunter, but one of them was a hit single called “Alabama Getaway.” The band recorded and filmed a series of gigs in the autumn at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco and Radio City Music Hall in New York, which resulted in the live albums Reckoning and Dead Set, as well as a closed-circuit simulcast, a TV special, and a home movie, Dead Ahead. Until 1987, this was the Grateful Dead’s last recording. Garcia married Carolyn Adams backstage during a performance on December 31, 1981, ostensibly for tax reasons; the two had split up before. In October 1982, Garcia released his fifth solo album, Run for the Roses. It just hit number 100 and included three tracks on which he received composition credits, as well as versions of Beatles and Bob Dylan tunes.

It’s been speculated that Garcia’s and the Grateful Dead’s lack of records in the early and mid-’80s was due in part to the guitarist’s drug use at the time. Garcia, who had previously been renowned for his fondness for psychedelic drugs (and had been imprisoned for possession of them in 1970 and 1973 without being sentenced to prison), had allegedly progressed to stronger substances by this time. He was arrested again on January 18, 1985, this time for possession of cocaine and heroin. By promising to obtain treatment, attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and perform a charity performance, he was able to escape prison time once again. Along with his drug use, he smoked and engaged in other harmful behaviors, all of which led to his physical deterioration in the final decade of his life. Following a grueling Grateful Dead tour, Jerry went into a diabetic coma that lasted three days and almost killed him on July 10, 1986. (Adams and his kids by her moved back in with him throughout his recuperation.) In October, he rejoined the JGB, and in December, he joined the Grateful Dead, and for a while, he appeared to have a fresh lease on life.

Almost Acoustic Personal revival was one of the outcomes of his rebirth. Despite his reunion with Adams, he began a love relationship with Manasha Matheson, a Grateful Dead fan, with whom he had his fourth daughter, Keelin Noel Garcia, on December 20, 1987. (In 1989, Garcia and Adams divorced again, and Garcia either lived alone or with Matheson.) On a professional level, his improved health resulted in the publication of In the Dark, the first new Grateful Dead album in seven years, on July 6, 1987. Four Garcia/Hunter songs appeared on the double-platinum Top Ten album, including “Touch of Grey,” the Grateful Dead’s sole Top Ten hit. Garcia conducted a unique series of gigs at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway in New York City in October 1987 after touring in promotion of the record, leading an acoustic string band in the first set and the JGB in the second. The gigs culminated in the production of a live CD, Almost Acoustic, by Grateful Dead Merchandising in 1988, attributed to the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band. The Grateful Dead continued to travel regularly, and Garcia started to expand the JGB’s geographical reach, for example, with a two-week tour in September 1989 that visited many of the same venues as the Grateful Dead. On Halloween 1989, the Grateful Dead released Built to Last, which turned out to be their last studio album. It did not equal the popularity of In the Dark, but it did earn gold. It had three Garcia/Hunter songs among its nine tracks.

Jerry Garcia/David Grisman Garcia added a third constant group to his itinerary in February 1991, performing in an acoustic duet with his old buddy David Grisman at the Warfield and releasing Jerry Garcia/David Grisman via Grisman’s Acoustic Disc label soon after. The two-CD set Jerry Garcia Band, issued in May 1991, was based on Warfield gigs from 1990 with the JGB. It was Garcia’s first solo chart album in nine years. Nonetheless, the majority of the guitarist’s time was devoted to the Grateful Dead’s normal touring schedule. He was said to have taken unwell again on August 4, 1992, four days after his 50th birthday, albeit he was not hospitalized this time. On October 31, 1992, he rejoined the JGB as a performer. He divorced Manasha Matheson in December and began his relationship with Deborah Koons in 1993. He married Koons on Valentine’s Day, 1994, after completing his divorce with Carolyn Adams in 1993.

Not for Kids Only Garcia’s musical association with Grisman led to a series of recordings with the mandolinist, and another duet effort, Not for Kids Only, was released in September 1993. The Grateful Dead were the most successful touring act in the United States in that year, generating $45.6 million. They made $52.4 million in 1994, but slid to fifth place due to greater competition. Meanwhile, they had begun to delve into their archives for vintage live recordings to satisfy the demands of the Deadheads, releasing such albums as One from the Vault (1991), recorded in 1975, and Two from the Vault (1992), recorded in 1968. The Grateful Dead spent the summer of 1995 playing outdoor stadiums, and they wrapped off their tour on July 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was the band’s last performance. Garcia entered the Betty Ford Clinic a week later, his first-ever effort at formal treatment to break his heroin habit. He remained for a few weeks but did not finish the clinic’s month-long program. He checked into a new treatment center in Forest Knolls, California, on August 8. He died of a heart attack in his sleep in the early hours of August 9, 1995, at the age of 53.

Shady Grove Despite his refusal to claim the position of Grateful Dead leader, Garcia’s importance to the band was undeniable, and the remaining members’ declaration in December 1995 that the band was disbanding without him came as no surprise. (In 1998, some of the band’s former members toured as the Other Ones.) Later, as the Dead, Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann, and Hart played with additional musicians.) A long run of posthumous publications has continued to occur following his death, attesting to his value. The Grateful Dead’s series of historical performance releases became a production line, allowing the band to make up for lost touring money. Grisman compiled a collection of CDs from Garcia’s studio sessions (Shady Grove [1996], So What [1998], The Pizza Tapes [2000], Been All Around This World [2004]). The guitarist’s estate has started a Pure Jerry archive performance release series on a Jerry Garcia label. The ATO label eventually developed a similar series called Garcialive, which focused on a range of JGB and other solo-related historical gigs. As his and the Grateful Dead’s music was exposed to new generations, his memory has carried on via various tribute albums and performances throughout the years.

Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia His surviving bandmates organized an all-star homage to his memory called Dear Jerry in May 2015, 20 years after his death. They reassembled two months later to commemorate their 50th anniversary with a series of farewell performances at Soldier Field in Chicago, the location of their last performance with Garcia. It was the first time they’d played under the Grateful Dead name since Jerry’s death, and Trey Anastasio of Phish stepped in to cover Jerry’s spot in the band. The Hart Valley Drifters, one of Garcia’s early pre-Dead ventures, released their debut LP in 2016.

Watch This Video-

Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942 in San Francisco, California. He is best known as the guitarist and singer of the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia’s biography, songs, and albums are available at 。 Reference: how old would jerry garcia be today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Jerry Garcias net worth when he died?

A: Jerry Garcia died with a net worth of $30,000.

What did Jerry Garcia died of?

A: It is unknown what Jerry Garcia died of.

What genre is Jerry Garcia?

A: Jerry Garcia was an American musician and singer-songwriter associated with the band Grateful Dead. He is frequently ranked as one of the greatest guitarists in rock music history, alongside Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Frank Zappa and Keith Richards.

  • jerry garcia death
  • jerry garcia birthday
  • jerry garcia children
  • how old was jerry garcia when he died
  • jerry garcia young
You May Also Like

Dylan Lane | Bio, Age, Net Worth, Height, Wife, Nationality |

Dylan Lane is an American television host and actor, best known as…

Conor Mara | Bio, Age, Net Worth, Nationality, Height |

Conor Mara is known as the brother of the famous Kate Mara…

Oklahoma’s Now Digital With Fishing/Hunting Licenses

Hunting season is rapidly approaching and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation…

Mia Kirshner Net Worth

Mia Kirchner is a Canadian actress and writer. She is known for…