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Nanci Griffith

Updated on January 9, 2011


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.

On Grafton Street

Always Will

Speed of the Sound of Lonliness


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    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      I definitely voted up.

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      She is indeed Peggy. It's been a long time since she's played around here, sadly. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Peace!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Nice to learn about her authoring of songs that others have made famous like "From a Distance" sung by Bette Midler. Hope that Nanci Griffith is reaping proper benefits. Thanks for this informative hub. She is a pretty person with a pretty voice to match.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Thanks Healing Touch, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Peace!!

    • Healing Touch profile image

      Laura Arne 7 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      You have a talent for lifting up great song writers. This was so great.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hi James, she's far from a household name but I get a local college radio station that plays all the stuff you don't hear on corporate radio. I love Emmylou too in fact Nanci has some duets with her and how sweet that sounds. Glad you found something new, I always appreiciate you stopping by and commenting. Peace!!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      I am embarrassed to confess I had not heard of Nanci Griffith. I should have. She is a beautiful lady and a wonderful talent. Reminds me just a bit of Emmylou. Thank you for the biography and the songs. I enjoyed the music very much.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey Larry, I totally agree. Thanks for you comment! Peace!! Tom

    • larryprice5372 profile image

      Larry Wade Price 7 years ago from Long Beach, California

      Nanci Griffith is awesome.

      There are very few artists that are personally unique. She is one like Janice and Allanis.

      She is extremely gifted and we are lucky to have her entertaining us with quality. Pretty too!

      A great hub and a fine artist presented for our enjoyment.


    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey DarkSinistar, thanks for checking it out! I am going right now to check yours out. I love music and have been going to concerts since 1966 so I got a lot of memories. Love Nanci G.!! Peace!! Tom

    • DarkSinistar profile image

      DarkSinistar 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I happened to catch your spot-on answer to a question about Little Feat and decided to check out your hubs only to find this wonderful tribute to Nanci. I have my own hub honoring this great singer/songwriter so I'm going to hop over there and throw a link your way. Looking forward to reading some of your other hubs as well. Great job!

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey twentyfive, you're right, her voice is lovely. I really like that word for her voice. You're quite welcome, thanks for checking her out. Peace!!

    • twentyfive profile image

      twentyfive 7 years ago

      Wow her voice is lovely. Wish I could sing like her lol Thanks for sharing about this talented lady :) Peace.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Absolutely right Todd, I started thinking about the fact I always seem to do hubs about bands with all guys and forgetting how much I love a lot of women in music. Dude I love country too, I've seen Loretta, Conway , George Jones. Those come to mind but there are plenty of others. Loretta is doing a show about 100 miles from here and I'd love to check it out but $ are the issue. I kidded you about Karen but she was fine too.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I need to write about some of my fave women artists, of course I did the Karen Carpenter one; but I'm more of a country guy, really; and so this is more up my alley. The Karen thing had to have come from my Mom always listening to and singing that stuff when I was a young un', and Mom's always top on my list. . . .

      Trying to think of the ladies name I wanted to mention to you. Guess it'll have to come later. (effin' memory slippin' with time, I guess.)

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      How'd I not see this till now, I'm your effin' stalker fer crying out loud? Nothing more attractive than a woman who can sing and play a little, and if she's already hot, you've got yourself a platinum plated bomb!

      Reminded me of early Linda, Karen, or Emmylou.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hi Prasetio, I'm very glad you enjoyed it my friend. I'm always happy when you stop by! Peace and Love!! Tom

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Thanks, my friend for writing this. She is very talented and really good singer. I really enjoy reading her biography through this hub. I am glad to know how you appreciate her. Thanks for post the video too. I love this very much. Rating up. Love and peace!


    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey Tony, I'm glad you like her and I TOTALLY agree. Peace brother!! Tom

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for intrpoducing me to this wonderful singer! She is gorgeous and sings so beautifully!

      Thanks my friend(s).

      Love and peace


    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey Vern, good to hear from you again. What little mind I have left is filled to the brim with music. I've been like that for a very long time and all my friends have to deal with that. Every situation, good or bad, brings lyrics to my head. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but I think it's my therapy. How's life treating you? I hope all's well. Peace brother!! Tom

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hi Tom

      I love music and so often I recognize songs by the melody and I might even out of the clear blue hum or sing a melody or even plunk it out on the piano knowing it comes from some place in my memory bank, but it def is not mine. So when you give us these wonder filled hubs, it helps me put faces and names to not only people but also songs which I still might not remember tomorrow! But at least for today, I can appreciate who sang and or wrote what floats around in my brain.



    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Hey brother, you know your John Prine! Peace, Love and good health Micky Dee! Justin and Tom

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Awesomely beautiful again Tom! I'm leaving here at the "speed of the sound of loneliness"! God bless!

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      I love this woman Merle Ann. When I first heard her I was totally hooked. She's got that girly voice with that southern twang and writes some of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. She also reminds me of my Nancy (well she's not mine anymore, but...! My music taste is all over the place and while I know people aren't going to like some of it I bet I can agree on something with just about anyone. Glad you liked it. Peace and Love Merle Ann!! Tom

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      On Grafton Street was yet is another one I have never I watch it is a wonder all the equipment needed to set up for a gig, and the dedication they have...

      Always Will..was good and I liked the freindly way they sat in chairs as they sang and played...

      The third photo looks more familiar to me...

      the last one was a bit tin sounding? why is that?,,,Thanks once again for showing me another part of you and some good music...:O) Hugs Merle Ann

      p.s. I Love Darius....