Paul Griffin (musician)

Paul Griffin (August 6, 1937 – June 14, 2000) was an American pianist and session musician who recorded with hundreds of musicians from the 1950s to the 1990s.


Born in Harlem, New York, he began as the touring pianist in the backing band for King Curtis and eventually worked with Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, Don McLean, the Isley Brothers, Van Morrison, the Shirelles, and Dionne Warwick. He may be best known for his colourful and distinctive playing on the Bob Dylan albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, and also on Steely Dan's Aja. He is extensively featured playing a virtuoso performance of gospel piano on Don McLean's single, "American Pie" [1] He is credited as co-author of the song "The Fez" on Steely Dan's The Royal Scam.

He was an arranger for The Warriors (1979) and Four Friends (1981) and performed in On Location: Robert Klein at Yale (1982) and on the soundtrack for Blue Sunshine (1976).

He died of a heart attack at his home in New York at the age of 62, suffering from complications of diabetes. He was awaiting a liver transplant at the time of his death.[2][3]


With Bob Dylan

With Dion DiMucci

  • You're Not Alone (Warner Bros. Records, 1971)

With George Benson

With Tom Rush

With Wilson Pickett

  • In the Midnight Hour (Atlantic Records, 1965)
  • It's Harder Now (Rounder Records, 1999)

With Michael Franks

With John Denver

With Peter, Paul and Mary

With Al Kooper

With David Clayton-Thomas

  • David Clayton-Thomas (Columbia Records, 1972)

With Gloria Loring

  • ...And Now We Come to Distances (Evolution Records, 1970)
  • Friends & Lovers (Atlantic Records, 1986)

With Melba Moore

With LaVern Baker

  • See See Rider (Atlantic Records, 1963)

With Janis Siegel

  • Experiment in White (Atlantic Records, 1982)

With Solomon Burke

  • If You Need Me (Atlantic Records, 1963)
  • King Solomon (Atlantic Records, 1968)
  • I Wish I Knew (Atlantic Records, 1968)

With Jackie Lomax

  • Home Is In My Head (Warner Bros. Records, 1971)

With Steely Dan

With Marlena Shaw

With Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

With John Lennon and Yoko Ono

With Don McLean

With Carly Simon

With Roberta Flack

With Judy Collins

  • Judith (Elektra Records, 1975)

With Cheryl Lynn

With Gloria Gaynor

With Stephanie Mills

With Donald Fagen

With Yoko Ono

With Van Morrison

With Paul Simon

With Garland Jeffreys

With Aretha Franklin

With Bonnie Raitt

With Laura Nyro

With The Free Design


  1. ^ Hasted, Nick (7 April 2015). "The Making Of… Don McLean's "American Pie". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ Singer, Jonathan. "Paul Griffin". Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Paul Griffin, 62, an organist and pianist".

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