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Thursday, December 23, 2010

JGB: female vocalists, late 1983 east coast tour

update 2016: there is overwhelming evidence that DeeDee Dickerson took part in the late '83 JGB tour. As of 3/23/2016 I am inclining to say that Gloria began with the year 1984, but at this point, and until someone sits down and listens to the backing vocalists pretty closely, that is just speculation.

There is a lot that remains obscure, and much that probably forever will, about the various ladies who joined Garcia onstage as Jerry Garcia Band backing vocalists. The Jerry Site's band lineups page has the best information available, of course, but even there I know there are missing names, problematic dates, etc. etc. The 1981-1985 or so period is especially rife with incomplete or problematic information. (Probably true of drummers as well, but that's a whole other can o' worms!)

I don't have time to tackle the whole issue right now, but it's another very long and involved topic about which there will be much to say. Right now, I just want to ask about the late 1983 east coast tour of the JGB. Jacklyn LaBranch appears to have arrived on 10/24/82 and stayed through the end in 1995. According to TJS, it then went like this

DeeDee Dickerson backing vocals Oct 24, 1982 Jun 5, 1983
Gloria Jones backing vocals Jul 20, 1983 Aug 28, 1984
DeeDee Dickerson backing vocals Sep 15, 1984 Sep 28, 1985
Gloria Jones backing vocals Feb 21, 1986 Apr 23, 1995

By this reckoning, Gloria Jones was the backup singer in late '83.

In an unbelievably erudite analysis of the JGB from 1987 (1), Corry tells us that Gloria replaced Dee Dee on 9/30/83, not 7/20. A detail to be figured out, but still consistent with Gloria being onstage in November-December '83.

I just got thrown off by the ad below for the 11/27/83 show at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC:

DeeDee Dickerson is listed as the second female vocalist. Of course the simplest explanation is that John Scher's outfit had the lineup that had come through in May/June of that same year (on a very, very hot tour, BTW!), which would have included DeeDee and not Gloria.

update: as I said at the top of the post, this has now been explained: DeeDee Dickerson was "on the bus with the Garcia Band" for the November-December 1983 eastern tour. This, of course, modifies understandings of Gloria: is it possible she didn't come in until 1984?

(1) Arnold, Corry. 1987. The Jerry Garcia Band: 11 years and still rockin’. Golden Road no. 13 (Winter): 22-26.


  1. late Nov. and Dec of 83 Dee Dee was in the band with Jackie

  2. Saw and recorded that 9/30/83 show. Appearntly Glorias first show. What a scorcher it was. Remember sitting at a table as that was how the Country Club was with some people I didn't know. Some old hippy guy wearing all tan leather like he just walked out of the desert. Looked like he'd been there since the 60's.

    1. Thanks for sharing recollections!

      Have you had your tapes digitized? I know I'd love to hear them.


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