Jerry Garcia

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, 1965-1995. 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 chart 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.