Wednesday marks what would've been Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday. Garcia, who died on Aug. 9, 1995 of an apparent heart attack, was best known for his lead guitar work and songwriting for the Grateful Dead.
One of the founding member of The Dead, Garcia performed with the group consisting of key members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Ron McKernan, for their entire three-decade career (1965-1995).
The band was recognized for its unique psychedelic stlye, which fused rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country and improvisational jazz. The music was often stretched into long live musical performances, which eventually became the foundation of their reputation.
Having been ranked 57th in the issue "The Greatest Artists of all Time" by Rolling Stone magazine, the Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In addition, their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University (May 8, 1977) was also added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
Garcia thrived not only as a member of the Dead, but as a solo artist as well. He released several solo albums, and contributed to a number of albums by other artists over the years as a session musician.
Garcia also founded a number of side projects, including the Saunders-Garcia Band (with longtime friend Merl Saunders), Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, Legion of Mary, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage (which Garcia co-founded with John Dawson and David Nelson).
Well known for his distinctive guitar playing, Garcia was ranked 13th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."
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