The Band, Up On Cripple Creek
Levon Helm, a musician who rose to fame as the drummer for The Band, died in a New York hospital Thursday after a long battle with throat cancer. In a statement released today, Helm’s rep confirmed the 71-year-old “passed peacefully this afternoon.”
"He was surrounded by family, friends and bandmates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."
Helm got his start in the music business as a teenager playing at clubs and bars in Arkansas. He eventually joined The Hawks with Ronnie Hawkins and together they added guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson to the band. Helm briefly left The Hawks when they became the backing band for Bob Dylan, but he returned in the late 60s. By then The Hawks had changed their name to The Band.
The Band recorded several albums together, including Music From Big Pink, Stage Fright and Cahoots. After The Band split in the late 70s, Helm launched a solo career and released albums up until 2008. He won a Grammy for his 2007 album Dirt Farmer.
Helm also appeared in several movies, including End of the Line, In the Electric Mist and Coal Miner’s Daughter. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
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