‘The Band’ Singer Levon Helm Dies At 71

Levon Helm, the drummer, multi-instrumentalist and singer for The Band who kept the band’s heart for more than three decades, died “peacefully” Thursday afternoon, according to his record label, Vanguard Records. He was 71.

A statement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Helm in 1994, called him the backbone of The Band. Helm had a voice unlike any other in rock music: definitively Southern, soulful and gritty, an oak-barreled whiskey that sometimes went down with a fiery kick. It was an American voice. Helm had been suffering from throat cancer. Despite reducing his voice to a rasp in recent years, it had not robbed him of his spirit.

At his home in Woodstock, New York, he regularly hosted the Midnight Ramble, weekly concerts that attracted sell-out crowds and all-star support from the likes of Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen. In the past decade, he recorded two albums, 2007′s “Dirt Farmer” and 2009′s “Electric Dirt,” that won Grammys. And he occasionally took the show on the road, making appearances at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Festival and Los Angeles’ Greek Theater.


After the Band’s split, Helm recorded a handful of solo albums and toured with his old bandmates, minus Robertson. There were losses there, too: Manuel committed suicide in 1986, and Danko passed away in 1999. Helm occasionally played with other groups, notably Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. He also appeared in several movies, the best remembered of which is “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won Sissy Spacek an Oscar for her portrayal of country star Loretta Lynn.

Helm had some hard times in the late ’90s. His studio was hit with a fire. The throat cancer took his voice and medical bills threatened his house. He nearly declared bankruptcy. But the Ramble, intended as a one-off “rent party,” according to Helm, helped raise money and revived his career. Indeed, it seemed there was nothing he enjoyed more than playing music for a few friends. In 2008, Helm received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award with The Band. He wasn’t present to receive it. He held a Midnight Ramble in Woodstock instead.

What do you miss most about Levon Helm? Share your fondest ‘The Band’ memories with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Music Radar

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Rest in Peace Levon Helm! Thank you for the great music you shared. :(

  2. Amy Powell says:

    I went over this web site and I believe you have a lot of superb information, saved to bookmarks

  3. Alice Watson says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting.

  4. Walter Rivera says:

    Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website

  5. Patrick Morris says:

    I like your information. i am always looking for this type of interesting and good information.

  6. Debra Griffin says:

    I like your information. i am always looking for this type of interesting and good information.

  7. Frank Richardson says:

    I went over this web site and I believe you have a lot of superb information, saved to bookmarks

  8. Larry Morgan says:

    I like your information. i am always looking for this type of interesting and good information.

  9. Stephanie Moore says:

    Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website

  10. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far.

  11. Anthony Jackson says:

    Thanks for the info, appreciated it. it was so well formatted.

  12. Gregory Thompson says:

    I went over this web site and I believe you have a lot of superb information, saved to bookmarks

  13. Ronald Hill says:

    I went over this web site and I believe you have a lot of superb information, saved to bookmarks

  14. Marius Tuka says:

    Hello there Website Owner! Very nice blog you have here, I kinda like it! I noticed you were using WordPress and I figure I’d share a tip with you. There’s a plugin for WordPress I use on my own websites that will help you boost your traffic significantly ! You can easily get a spot on the page 1 for your specific keywords ! Here is the link … http://bit.ly/xqj97z ! If you need help with anything feel free to contact me ! Have a nice day !

  15. Excellent post admin! i bookmarked your world-wide-web weblog. i’ll look forward in case you could have an e-mail list including.

  16. Rama casino says:

    rbwbklp{nfejb, Casino en Ligne, bbGUzDJ, [url=http://ulyssesbooks.com/]Les meilleurs casinos en ligne[/url], iDUYpkG, http://ulyssesbooks.com/ Casino en Ligne, msXUvkH, Casino virtuel en ligne gratuitement, rIRapla, [url=http://wellawareworld.net/]Casinos et jeux en ligne[/url], OBZXMJS, http://wellawareworld.net/ Casino en ligne partouche, uzOvxrL, Gratis casino, YwZduIT, [url=http://themathematiciansassistant.com/]Casino[/url], KttvZnv, http://themathematiciansassistant.com/ Gratis casino, GKWUvJt, Valley casino, fIOtclf, [url=http://tomjohndance.com/]Tropicana casino[/url], djnjlAH, http://tomjohndance.com/ Casino, XYdZrqI, Online Casino, uutUddt, [url=http://eko-taxi.com/]Minnesota online casino[/url], MSxvPkr, http://eko-taxi.com/ Online casino blog, WBjtViR, Casino en ligne bonus, nGkZCqE, [url=http://shegolfer.com/]Casino en ligne canada[/url], IDCKOgw, http://shegolfer.com/ Casino en Ligne, WkKksWp.

  17. cyzkmlp{nfejb, Jamaica blog negril sex viagra, TuUgfnf, [url=http://www.codman.org/]Buy viagra online[/url], KlTePRs, http://www.codman.org/ Viagra sale, IdmFXHo.

Speak Your Mind

*