Levon Helm, the legendary drummer for The Band, has died of cancer at the age of 71. Helm not only was a major part of this significant recording act, but also had been a successful solo artist as well. His back-woodsy vocal style was often compared to country music performer, John Anderson, by many. In fact, the comparison of the two performers was so great that the two once performed “The Weight” together live on a TNN concert program.
Born in Arkansas, Helm added a country flavored voice to The Band when he was on lead vocals. Helm’s music had strong blues, country and R&B influences. He was a great performer and songwriter both, and easily one of rock music’s most talented drummers as well. The musical ability of The Band was so great, that Bob Dylan became a fan and did some work with this band which penned some awesome songs during their long career. Some of their albums such as their first album, MUSIC FROM BIG PINK, and their live album, ROCK OF AGES, were some of rock music’s greatest and most significant albums. Songs such as “The Weight”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Rag Mama Rag”, and many others are pure classics. The Band was a superb act.
Levon Helm’s contributions to this great America-Canadian recording act were immeasurable. He will be deeply missed as a great songwriter, performer and guiding genius of one of rock music’s best recording acts of all time.