"Sugar Magnolia" is a song by the Grateful Dead. Written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir, it is one of the most well-known songs by the band, alongside such hits as "Truckin'," "Casey Jones," "Uncle John's Band," and "Touch of Grey."
First released on the 1970 album American Beauty, "Sugar Magnolia" made its live debut on June 7, 1970 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. When performed live, the song was often divided into two different entities: "Sugar Magnolia" proper and the "Sunshine Daydream" coda. The break between the two could be a few beats, a set, or even a few concerts. On one memorable occasion, the week of long-time friend of the band Bill Graham's death, the coda was held off for an entire week.
According to Deadbase X, "Sugar Magnolia" was the Dead's second-most played in concert song of their long career, with 596 performances, trailing only "Me & My Uncle".
It has been said that the song was written about Bob Weir's girlfriend, Frankie, who lived with him for many years. In any case, the song's line "she don't come and I won't follow" echoes the folk song, "Sourwood Mountain", which includes the line "she won't come and I won't call 'er." Aside from obvious...