Rest in Peace, Folk/Country Singer/Songwriter Nanci Griffith: 1953-2021

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Friday afternoon, word broke that Nanci Griffith, the folk/country singer/songwriter known for classics such as “Once in a Very Blue Moon,” “Outbound Train” and “Love at the Five and Dime” has passed away at the age of 68.

Rolling Stone noted that Griffith’s manager confirmed her death, but no cause of death was yet known.

Griffith, born in Austin, Texas before relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, won a Grammy in 1994 for Other Voices, Other Rooms, an album of cover songs that took home the Best Contemporary Folk Album award.

Over the years, Griffith earned a strong reputation and audience, though she never quite “broke through” as a singer with her own songs — rather, her songs often became hits when performed by others.

She was also the first artist to record “From a Distance,” written by Julie Gold, though Griffith’s version didn’t catch on as much as Bette Midler’s did in 1990.

Via Rolling Stone‘s remembrance piece:

Though Griffith never got to experience a big radio hit with her own recordings, her songs were often recorded with greater success by others. “Love at the Five and Dime,” from The Last of the True Believers, earned Kathy Mattea a Number Three country hit in 1986. Likewise, “Outbound Plane,” which Griffith had written with Tom Russell for Little Love Affairs, ended up as a Top 10 hit for Suzy Bogguss in 1991. Other artists who cut Griffith’s songs include Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Maura O’Connell.

Fellow musicians and songwriters poured out their heartfelt tributes and remembrances of her songs and her impact…

May Nanci Griffith rest in peace.


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