Celebrating Women in Music: Betty Cantor Jackson

by Clarissa Mendiola, Donor Cultivation Coordinator

Every Sunday, Betty Cantor Jackson works behind the scenes to help create the ecstatic sound for which GLIDE is known. She is the recording engineer for the renowned GLIDE Ensemble and Change Band. As recording engineer, Betty pilots all of the complex sound equipment that brings listeners to their feet every Sunday. But anyone who knows Betty will say that she does much more than that – she is an artist, leaving her own mark on the music that fills and moves us.

What many may not know about Betty is that she is heralded in the music community, especially for her two decades of work spanning from the late 1960s to mid 1980s with music icons, The Grateful Dead. In fact, dedicated Grateful Dead fans, Dead Heads, affectionately named all of Betty’s Grateful Dead recordings as The Betty Boards, referring to the sound console that Betty controlled. It was Betty’s mastery that created an intimate and personal experience for fans. Betty reflected, “My recordings created a space that could make fans feel like they were on stagewith the band.”

Betty Cantor Jackson recording a live Grateful Dead performance at Winterland Arena, 1971

Betty’s original introduction to GLIDE was in 1970 when the recording company she worked for was hired to record GLIDE’s first album, You the People. She came back to GLIDE independently in the early 2000s and has been with us since. Today, modern technology has given us the opportunity to enjoy Betty’s artistry on a weekly basis via Sunday Celebration Podcasts, which are produced and edited by Dan McGonagle of Media One Audio/Visual, and updated every week on GLIDE’s website.  When asked why she enjoys working with the Ensemble and Change band, she replied enthusiastically, “The music. I love the music. Always the music, bottom line.”

                                                                                                                                      GLIDE’s first album, “You the People”