The Band's Levon Helm Passes Away At 71
By Joseph Giannone 2012-04-19 17:34:20
Bob Dylan’s music alone speaks volumes about his artistic excellence. Even though he produced five records before it, his seminal 1965 tour “The Electric Tour” put him on the map. This could not have been possible though without Dylan’s backing group at the time, The Band. While Dylan went on doing his thing, after their break-out tour, The Band members Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson were graced with notoriety and consequently began recording their first effort, Music from Big Pink. Since then The Band has gone on to carve out its own legacy. Sadly though, today is a day of mournin, because The Band’s Levon Helm has passed away at 71.
Just a few days ago, it was reported that Helm was in his final stages of terminal cancer. Friend and collaborator of the musician, Larry Campbell, let fans know the fight ended today, telling Times-Herald Record : “We lost Levon at 1:30 today surrounded by friends and family and his musicians have visited him. As sad as this was, it was very peaceful.” Helm contributed to such smash hits as “The Weight” and “Up on Cripple Creek”, and in 1976 to many fans dismay, his group broke up. After the split, Helm continued to record numerous solo albums and toured with the Beatles' Ringo Starr. In 1978 he also starred in Martin Scorsese’s famous concert film The Last Waltz.
In a noble way, the musician catered numerous benefit concerts on his farm in Woodstock, New York to help pay for his medical bills after being diagnosed with throat cancer in the early 1990’s. After overcoming his first battle with cancer and regaining his voice back, he continued to tour until just a few weeks ago when the cancer came back in full force.
In remembrance of The Band’s Levon Helm, and for all the people’s lives he touched with his music over the years, here’s a few songs that highlight his long and fruitful career.
Levon Helm – “Wide River to Cross”
The Band - “The Weight”