Levon Helm Dies

Levon Helm, 71, singer and drummer for The Band but an accomplished and iconic artist in his own right, died of throat cancer in New York April 19, surrounded by friends and family.

An Arkansas native, Helm brought a distinctly Southern sensibility to his, and The Band’s, music with signature songs including “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” “Ophelia” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

All were featured in “The Last Waltz,” supposedly the band’s swan song, that left Helm embittered.

The end of The Band and its iterations freed Helm to pursue his own projects, including the popular “Midnight Ramble” gigs at his home barn/studio in Woodstock, N.Y.

Those shows led to two late career-defining and Grammy Award-winning albums, Dirt Farmer and the live Ramble at the Ryman.