by Mark Ferguson
Nanci Griffith was born July 6, 1954 in Seguin, Texas (near Austin). Her parents are Marlin "Griff" Griffith and Ruelene Strawser. He was a book publisher and singer in barbershop quartets. She was a real estate agent. They are both living, but no longer married.
Nanci learned to play the guitar from an old PBS television series. She began writing her own songs because she found that easier than learning how to play other people's songs correctly. Her first song, written when she was about 12, was called "A New Generation." Her first professional gig was at a Red Lion hotel in Austin on a Thanksgiving holiday evening. She was fourteen. She made eleven dollars.
Nanci graduated from the University of Texas with an Education degree and taught kindergarten and first grade in the Austin school system during the 1970s. She also had a five-year gig at Austin's Hole in the Wall bar during this time. Her first three recorded songs were on a sampler disc released in 1977 on the now-defunct B.F. Deal label.
Nanci was married to singer-songwriter Eric Taylor from 1976 to 1982. He appears on her first two albums as well as her live album One Fair Summer Evening, and she appears on his album "Shameless Love." Nanci was later engaged to singer-songwriter Tom Kimmel, but they parted before marrying. She is currently single.
Nanci moved to Nashville around 1986, and now has a six-acre farm in nearby Franklin. She also has a flat in downtown Dublin, Ireland, where she spends part of each year.