Monday, April 15, 2013

Danny Griffith

Steve Mackin interview conducted March 2012.

Anyone who ever visited Cripple Creek from the mid 1960s to mid 1980s, specifically the Gold Bar Room at the Imperial Hotel, were entertained by the “King of Melodrama Pianists,” Danny Griffith.

“Danny grew up in Glenwood Springs. His father was part of a big band, and my folks heard him perform at the Oxford Hotel in Denver,” said Steve Mackin, who spent many years at the Imperial, which was owned by his family. “This was about 1966. They invited him to come work for us, at the Imperial – which he did, for 18 years.”

It’s estimated that Griffth performed in 3,000 melodramas, while at the hotel.

Danny Griffith passed away in 1993, in Tucson, where he had been the regular performer at the Gaslight Theatre. He was 50 years old. He is buried in Cripple Creek.

(Partial) Danny Griffith LP discography:
Cripple Creek Gold 
Danny Griffith and Jim Tracy - Sounds of the Gold Bar Room 
The Glad Rags Volume One 
The Glad Rags Volume Two 
Sounds of the Gold Bar Room - featuring the Glad Rags
Danny Griffith in Cripple Creek
Imperial Rag Time
Imperial Treasures
Sounds of the Gold Bar Room #12
Gold Bar Room 30th Anniversary Album

The Gold Bar Room has recently remastered a few of Griffith's recordings, which are available for purchase here.


  1. Was very fortunate to see one of Mr. Griffith's shows at the Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek in the 80s with my parents. I liked his music and performance so I bought his Sound of the Gold Bar Room album on vinyl. A great collection of ragtime pieces and a brilliant pianist. Gone but not forgotten and still listening to his music today.

  2. Very prolific, indeed. Thank you for reading the blog.

  3. I worked with Danny in 1985, when I was the heroine of the melodrama at the Imperial. I bought 2 of his records, which much to my dismay, I no longer seem to possess. I loved his pieces. He was a character. Talented, acerbic, funny, energetic.

  4. Danny was my friend for many years in Tucson. l grateful to give a moment for Danny,.

  5. As a student I worked at the Imperial Hotel as busboy then waiter in the late 60s and early 70s. I can’t remember all the times he announced to the crowd my recent engagement to one of the waitresses during intermissions while serving drinks. Great fun and good for tips!