The first time I saw Nanci was I think in the mid 80's and from the very first song I knew I was in love. There, on stage, was a beautiful lady with a voice of an angel. Nanci Griffith, (born Nanci Caroline Griffith, July 6, 1953, Seguin, Texas) is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter from Austin, Texas.Griffith's career has spanned a variety of musical genres, predominantly
country, folk, and what she terms "folkabilly." Griffith won a Grammy Award for BestContemporary Folk Album in 1994 for her recording, Other Voices, Other Rooms. This album features Griffith covering the songs of artists who are her major influences. One of her better-known songs is "From a Distance" by Julie Gold, although Bette Midler's version achieved greater commercial success. Similarly, other artists have occasionallyachievedgreater success with Griffith's songs than Griffith herself. For
example, Kathy Mattea had a country music top five hit with a 1986 cover
of Griffith's "Love at the Five and Dime," and Suzy Bogguss had one of her
largest hits with Griffith's and Tom Russell's "Outbound Plane."
Griffith's high school boyfriend, John, died in a motorcycle accident
after taking her to the senior prom, and subsequently inspired many of her
songs. Griffith was married to singer-songwriter Eric Taylor from 1976 to
1982. In the early 1990s, she was engaged to singer-songwriter Tom Kimmel,
but the couple parted before marrying. In 1994, Griffith teamed up with
Jimmy Webb to contribute the song "If These Old Walls Could Speak" to the
AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Griffith is a survivor of breast cancer which was diagnosed in 1996, and
thyroid cancer in 1998.
Griffith has in recent years toured with various other artists including
Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets, John Prine, Iris DeMent, Suzy Bogguss
and Judy Collins. Griffith has recorded duets with many artists, among
them Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, John Prine, Don McLean, Jimmy Buffett,
Dolores Keane, Willie Nelson, Adam Duritz (singer of Counting Crows), The
Chieftains, and Darius Rucker (singer of Hootie & the Blowfish). She has
also contributed background vocals on many other recordings.
Griffith suffered from severe 'writers block' for a number of years after
2004, lasting until 2009 and the release of 'The Loving Kind' album which
contained nine self-penned or co-written songs.
As well as her own songs Griffith is well-known for her outstanding
versions of other people's material, usually by contemporary
singer-songwriters. During her early 2010 Loving Kind tour she sang, as
her last two songs of the encore, "If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)",
Pete Seeger and Lee Hays's 1949 song, and "No Expectations", the
Jagger-Richards song from The Rolling Stones' 1968 Beggars Banquet album.