He is a guitarist, songwriter and producer born Donald
Griffin in Baltimore, Maryland, to a musical family where his mother was a
pianist, his father was a guitarist, his grandmother and sister sang, his uncle
was a jazz bassist and his brother is the successful chart-topping
singer-songwriter Billy Griffin.
He played the drums after being given a set when he
was thirteen years old but although he played them for several years, he
decided to turn his hand to the guitar. This would become the instrument
that would find him success as a professional musician and after his
brother became the lead singer of The Miracles in 1972 he managed to get an
audition to play in their band as a replacement for Marv Tarplin. He was successful in getting the job
and remained with them until they split up in the late 1970s.
After the disbandment he took up a position as a
touring lead guitarist and session musician for several acts while based in
Los Angeles and then carried on his work after moving to Denver,
Colorado. He also made inroads
as a songwriter when he co-wrote his brother’s “Hold Me Tighter
in the Rain” which became a Top 20 hit in the UK in 1983. He began to concentrate on his solo
career and moved back to Maryland during the 1990s to continue his own
During the course of his career he has lent his
talents to many artists such as Sheila E., Richard
Elliott, Amy Grant, The Four Tops, Earl Klugh, Rufus & Chaka Khan,
Brenda Russell, Marilyn Scott and Maurice White.
The albums he has appeared on are many and include Rapture
by Anita Baker, Respect by Billy Griffin, Just Like the First
Time by Freddie Jackson, Love Crazy by The Miracles and All
Systems Go by Donna Summer.
Today he is once again in Denver, Colorado, working as
a producer and musician.