Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Levon Helm

Levon Helm

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Levon Helm'
Start a new discussion about 'Levon Helm'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 rock
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 and actor who achieved fame as the drummer
Drummer
A drummer is a musician who is capable of playing drums, which includes but is not limited to a drum kit and accessory based hardware which includes an assortment of pedals and standing support mechanisms, marching percussion and/or any musical instrument that is struck within the context of a...

 and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band
The Band
The Band was an acclaimed and influential roots rock group. The original group consisted of Rick Danko , Garth Hudson , Richard Manuel , and Robbie Robertson , and Levon Helm...

.

Helm is known for his deeply soulful, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

-accented voice, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of The Band's recordings, such as "The Weight
The Weight
"The Weight" is a song written by Robbie Robertson. It was released by The Band as Capitol Records single 2269 in 1968, and appeared one week later on the group's debut album Music from Big Pink. The song is listed as #41 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time published in 2004, and...

", "Up on Cripple Creek
Up on Cripple Creek
"Up on Cripple Creek" is the fifth song on The Band's eponymous second album, The Band. It was released as a single in November 1969 and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100...

", "Ophelia" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is a song written by Canadian musician Robbie Robertson, first recorded by The Band in 1969 and released on their self-titled second album. Joan Baez' cover of the song was a top-five chart hit in late 1971....

". His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer
Dirt Farmer
Dirt Farmer is an album by American musician Levon Helm, former drummer for The Band. The album was released on October 30, 2007 on Vanguard Records, and was Helm's first studio album since 1982. The album contains covers of songs by Steve Earle and J. B. Lenoir, and features his daughter Amy, as...

earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album
Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album
The Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album was awarded from 1987 to 2011. Until 1993 the award was known as the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. In 2007, this category was renamed Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album...

 in February 2008, and in November of that year, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

magazine ranked him #91 in the list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, Electric Dirt
Electric Dirt
Electric Dirt is a 2009 album by American musician Levon Helm. It is the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2007 album Dirt Farmer. In Uncuts list of the 150 best albums between 2000 until 2009, Electric Dirt was listed 80th...

, his 2009 follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album
Grammy Award for Best Americana Album
The Grammy Award for Best Americana Album is an honor presented to recording artists for quality albums in the Americana music genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

, an inaugural category in 2010.

Early years


Helm was born in Elaine, Arkansas
Elaine, Arkansas
Elaine is a city in Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 865 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Elaine is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....

, and grew up in Turkey Scratch, a hamlet west of Helena, Arkansas
Helena, Arkansas
Helena is the eastern portion of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, a city in Phillips County, Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, this portion of the city population was 6,323. Helena was the county seat of Phillips County until January 1, 2006, when it merged its government and city limits with...

, the son of Nell and Diamond Helm, who were cotton farmers and also great lovers of music who encouraged their children to play and sing. Young Lavon (as he was christened) began playing the guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 at the age of eight and also played drums
Drum kit
A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

 during his formative years. He saw Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 at the age of six and decided then and there to become a musician.

Arkansas in the 1940s and 50s was at the confluence of a variety of musical styles—blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 and R&B
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

—that later became known as rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

. Helm was influenced by all these styles listening to the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM...

 on radio station WSM
WSM (AM)
WSM is the callsign of a 50,000 watt AM radio station located in Nashville, Tennessee. Operating at 650 kHz, its clear channel signal can reach much of North America and various countries, especially late at night...

 and R&B on radio station WLAC
WLAC
WLAC is a clear channel radio station based in Nashville, Tennessee, operating at 1510 kHz on the AM dial.-Early history:Its first broadcast took place on November 24, 1926. The call letters were chosen to contain an acronym for the first owner of the station, the Life and Casualty Insurance...

 out of Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

. He also saw traveling shows such as F.S. Walcott's Rabbit's Foot Minstrels
The Rabbit's Foot Company
The Rabbit's Foot Company, also known as the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and colloquially as "The Foots", was a long running minstrel and variety troupe that toured as a tent show in the American South between 1900 and 1950...

 that featured top African-American artists of the time.

Another early influence on Helm was the work of harmonica, guitarist and singer Sonny Boy Williamson II
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Willie "Sonny Boy" Williamson was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, from Mississippi. He is acknowledged as one of the most charismatic and influential blues musicians, with considerable prowess on the harmonica and highly creative songwriting skills...

, who played blues and early R&B on the King Biscuit Time
King Biscuit Time
King Biscuit Time is the longest-running daily American radio broadcasts in history. The program is broadcast each weekday from KFFA in Helena, Arkansas, United States and has won the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence and is currently broadcast from the KFFA studio located in...

 radio show on KFFA
KFFA (AM)
KFFA is an American radio station licensed by the FCC to serve the community of Helena, Arkansas. The station is owned by Delta Broadcasting, which is owned by Jamie and Nancy Howe, and Otis Howe, all of whom live in Helena.-Historical role:...

 in Helena and performed regularly in Marvell with blues guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood. In his 1993 autobiography, This Wheel's on Fire - Levon Helm and the Story of The Band, Helm describes watching Williamson's drummer, James "Peck" Curtis, intently during a live performance in the early 1950s and later imitating this R&B drumming style. Helm established his first band, The Jungle Bush Beaters, while in high school.

Helm also witnessed some of the earliest performances by southern country, blues and rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

 artists such as Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Conway Twitty
Conway Twitty
Conway Twitty , born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was an American country music artist. He also had success in early rock and roll, R&B, and pop music. He held the record for the most number one singles of any act with 55 No. 1 Billboard country hits until George Strait broke the record in 2006...

, Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley
Ellas Otha Bates , known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American rhythm and blues vocalist, guitarist, songwriter , and inventor...

 and a fellow Arkansan, Ronnie Hawkins
Ronnie Hawkins
Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins is a Juno Award-winning rockabilly musician whose career has spanned more than half a century. Though his career began in Arkansas, USA, where he'd been born and raised, it was in Ontario, Canada where he found success and settled for most of his life...

. At age 17, Helm began playing in clubs and bars around Helena.

The Hawks


After graduating from high school, Helm was invited to join Ronnie Hawkins'
Ronnie Hawkins
Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins is a Juno Award-winning rockabilly musician whose career has spanned more than half a century. Though his career began in Arkansas, USA, where he'd been born and raised, it was in Ontario, Canada where he found success and settled for most of his life...

 band, The Hawks, who were a popular bar and club act across the South and also in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, where rockabilly acts were very popular. Soon after Helm joined The Hawks, they moved to Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada, where, in 1959, they signed with Roulette Records
Roulette Records
Roulette Records is an American record label, which was founded in late 1956, by George Goldner, Joe Kolsky, Morris Levy and Phil Khals, with creative control given to producers and songwriters Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. Levy was appointed as director...

 and released several singles, including a few hits.

Helm reports in his biography, This Wheel's on Fire, that fellow Hawks band members had difficulty pronouncing "Lavon" correctly, and started calling him "Levon" because it was easier.

In the early 1960s Helm and Hawkins recruited an all-Canadian lineup of musicians: guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

 Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson, OC; is a Canadian singer-songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. He was ranked 59th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time...

, bassist
Bassist
A bass player, or bassist is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments...

 Rick Danko
Rick Danko
Richard Clare "Rick" Danko was a Canadian musician and singer, best known as a member of The Band.-Early years :...

, pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

 Richard Manuel
Richard Manuel
Richard George Manuel was a Canadian composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his contributions to and membership in The Band....

 and organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson
Eric Garth Hudson is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist. As the organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for Canadian-American rock group The Band, he was a principal architect of the group's unique sound...

- although all the musicians were multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

s. In 1963, the band parted ways with Hawkins and started touring under the name "Levon and The Hawks," and later as "The Canadian Squires" before finally changing back to "The Hawks." They recorded two singles, but remained mostly a popular touring bar band in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Arkansas, Canada and on the East Coast where they found regular summer club gigs on the New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 shore.


By the mid 1960s, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 was interested in performing electric rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 and asked The Hawks to be his backing band. Disheartened by fans' negative response to Dylan's new sound, Helm returned to Arkansas for what turned out to be a two-year layoff, being replaced by Mickey Jones
Mickey Jones
Mickey Jones is an American musician and actor.-Early life:Jones was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Frances Marie and Fred Edward Jones...

. During this period Helm ended up working on off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico until he was asked to rejoin the band. After the Hawks toured Europe as Dylan's backing band, they followed Dylan to reside in the area in and around Woodstock, New York
Woodstock, New York
Woodstock is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 5,884 at the 2010 census, down from 6,241 at the 2000 census.The Town of Woodstock is in the northern part of the county...

 and remained under salary to him. There they recorded a large volume of demo and practice tapes, playing almost daily with Dylan, who had completely withdrawn from public life the previous year. These recordings were widely bootlegged
Bootleg recording
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging...

 and the best tracks were officially released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes is a 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band. The songs featuring Dylan's vocals were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album's release, at houses in and around Woodstock, New York, where Dylan and the Band lived...

 double album. The songs and themes developed during this period played a crucial role in the group's future direction and style. The Hawks members began writing their own songs. Rick Danko
Rick Danko
Richard Clare "Rick" Danko was a Canadian musician and singer, best known as a member of The Band.-Early years :...

 and Richard Manuel
Richard Manuel
Richard George Manuel was a Canadian composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his contributions to and membership in The Band....

 also shared writing credits with Dylan on a few songs. In 1967, Danko called Helm and invited him to return to the band in Woodstock.

The Band



Helm returned to the group, which by then was often referred to simply as "the band." While contemplating a recording contract Helm had dubbed the band as "The Crackers." However, when Robertson and Albert Grossman worked out the contracts, the group's name was cited as "The Band." Under these contracts, The Band was contracted to Grossman, who in turn contracted their services to Capitol Records. The arrangement allowed The Band to release recordings on other labels only if the work was done in support of Dylan. This allowed The Band to play on Dylan's Planet Waves
Planet Waves
Planet Waves is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's 14th studio album, released by Asylum Records in January 1974....

 album and on The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco...

, both non-Capitol releases. They recorded the album Music From Big Pink
Music from Big Pink
Music from Big Pink is the 1968 debut album by rock band The Band. It features the well-known song, "The Weight". The music was composed partly in 'Big Pink', a house shared by Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson in West Saugerties, in upstate New York...

, which catapulted them into stardom.
On Big Pink, Manuel was the most prominent vocalist and Helm sang mainly backup, with the exception of "The Weight
The Weight
"The Weight" is a song written by Robbie Robertson. It was released by The Band as Capitol Records single 2269 in 1968, and appeared one week later on the group's debut album Music from Big Pink. The song is listed as #41 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time published in 2004, and...

," but as Manuel's health deteriorated and Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson, OC; is a Canadian singer-songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. He was ranked 59th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time...

's songwriting increasingly looked south for influence and direction, subsequent albums relied more and more on Helm's vocals, alone or in harmony with Danko. Helm played drums for perhaps 85% of The Band's songs, including most of those for which he sang lead. On the others, Manuel switched to drums while Helm played mandolin or, on rare occasion, guitar or bass. The entire group was multi-instrumental and for certain songs the group featured Manuel on drums, Helm on mandolin (as on "Evangeline"), rhythm guitar (the 12-string guitar backdrop to "Daniel and the Sacred Harp" is by Helm), or bass (while Danko played fiddle).

Helm remained with The Band until their 1976 farewell performance, The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco...

, which was recorded in a documentary film by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

. Although many now know Helm through his appearance in the concert film – a performance remarkable for the fact that Helm's vocal tracks appear substantially as he sang them during a grueling concert – he repudiated his involvement with the film shortly after the final scenes were shot and, in his autobiography, offers scathing criticisms of the film and of his former bandmate, Robertson, who produced it.

Solo artist and the reformed Band



With the breakup of The Band in its original form, Helm began working on a solo album Levon Helm and the RCO All Stars, which was followed soon thereafter by Levon Helm. He recorded solo albums in 1980 and 1982 entitled American Son
American Son (album)
American Son is a Country Rock album by American musician Levon Helm, who is most famous for his work as drummer for rock group The Band. It was released in October 1980 on MCA Records, and was Helm's third studio album...

and (once again) Levon Helm. Helm also participated in Paul Kennerley
Paul Kennerley
Paul Kennerley is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer working in the American contemporary country music industry. His works include the concept albums, White Mansions and The Legend of Jesse James...

's 1980 country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 concept album
Concept album
In music, a concept album is an album that is "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical." Commonly, concept albums tend to incorporate preconceived musical or lyrical ideas rather than being improvised or composed in the studio, with all songs contributing...

, The Legend of Jesse James
The Legend of Jesse James
The Legend of Jesse James is a 1980 country music concept album by various artists singing songs by English songwriter Paul Kennerley, based on the story of American Old West outlaw Jesse James....

, singing the role of Jesse James
Jesse James
Jesse Woodson James was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. He also faked his own death and was known as J.M James. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary...

 alongside Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

 and Albert Lee
Albert Lee
Albert William Lee, born 21 December 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire, England, is an English guitarist known for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique. Lee has worked both in the studio and on tour with some of the most famous musicians which stretch through a very wide of genres...

.

In 1983, The Band reunited without Robbie Robertson, with Jim Weider on guitar. But then Manuel committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 while on tour in 1986. Helm, Danko and Hudson continued in The Band, releasing the album Jericho
Jericho (album)
-The Band:*Rick Danko: Bass guitar, guitars, fiddle, trombone, keyboards, vocals.*Levon Helm: Drums, percussion, mandolin, guitar, vocals.*Garth Hudson: Organ, keyboards, accordion, electric piano, saxophones, synthesizers, horns....

in 1993 and High on the Hog in 1996. The final album from The Band was the 30th anniversary album, Jubilation, released in 1998.

In 1989, Helm and Rick Danko toured with Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. Other musicians in the band included Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh
Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He has been a member of three commercially successful bands, the James Gang, Barnstorm, and the Eagles, and has experienced notable success as a solo artist and prolific session musician, especially with B.B...

, Dr. John
Dr. John
Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. , better known by the stage name Dr. John , is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as Zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he came to wider...

, Nils Lofgren
Nils Lofgren
Nils Hilmer Lofgren is an American rock music recording artist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist...

, Billy Preston
Billy Preston
William Everett "Billy" Preston was a musician who gained notoriety and fame, first as a session musician for the likes of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and later finding fame as a solo artist with hits such as "Space Race", "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing from...

, Clarence Clemons
Clarence Clemons
Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. , also known as The Big Man, was an American musician and actor. From 1972 until his death, he was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, playing the tenor saxophone. He released several solo albums and in 1985, had a hit single with "You're a...

 and Jim Keltner. Garth Hudson guested on accordion on certain dates. Levon played drums and harmonica, and sang "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek" each night.

Helm published an autobiography entitled This Wheel's on Fire in 1993.

Helm performed with Rick Danko and Garth Hudson as The Band in 1990 at Roger Waters' Epic The Wall Live In Berlin concert to an estimated 300,000 to half a million people.

The Midnight Ramble


Helm's performance career in the 2000s has revolved mainly around the Midnight Ramble at his home and studio, "the Barn," in Woodstock, New York
Woodstock, New York
Woodstock is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 5,884 at the 2010 census, down from 6,241 at the 2000 census.The Town of Woodstock is in the northern part of the county...

. These concerts, featuring Helm and a variety of musical guests, have allowed Helm to raise money for medical bills and to resume performing after a nearly career-ending bout with cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

.

Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer
Head and neck cancer
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers that start in the upper aerodigestive tract, including the lip, oral cavity , nasal cavity , paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas , originating from the mucosal lining...

 in the late 1990s after suffering hoarseness. Advised to undergo laryngectomy
Laryngectomy
Laryngectomy is the removal of the larynx and separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck, a stoma. This procedure is usually performed in cases of laryngeal cancer...

, Helm instead underwent an arduous regimen of radiation treatments at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Although the tumor was successfully removed, his vocal cords were damaged, and his clear, powerful tenor voice was replaced by a quiet rasp. Initially Helm only played drums and relied on guest vocalists at the Rambles, but Helm's singing voice grew stronger and on January 10, 2004, he sang for the first time at one of his Ramble Sessions. In 2007, during production of Dirt Farmer
Dirt Farmer
Dirt Farmer is an album by American musician Levon Helm, former drummer for The Band. The album was released on October 30, 2007 on Vanguard Records, and was Helm's first studio album since 1982. The album contains covers of songs by Steve Earle and J. B. Lenoir, and features his daughter Amy, as...

, he estimated that his singing voice was 80% recovered.

The Levon Helm Band features his daughter Amy Helm, along with Larry Campbell
Larry Campbell (musician)
Larry Campbell is a multi-instrumentalist who plays many stringed instruments in genres including country, folk, blues, and rock...

, Teresa Williams, Jimmy Weider (the Band's last guitarist), Jimmy Vivino
Jimmy Vivino
Jimmy Vivino is an American guitarist, keyboard player, singer, producer, and music director. He is best known as the leader of Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, the house band for the TBS late night program Conan...

, Mike Merritt, Brian Mitchell
Brian Mitchell (musician)
Brian Mitchell is a keyboard and accordion player based in New York City who is well known for high-profile collaborations, and for consummate session work....

, Erik Lawrence, Steven Bernstein, Howard Johnson (tuba player in the horn section that played on The Band's "Rock of Ages" and "The Last Waltz" live albums), Byron Isaacs, and blues harmonica player Little Sammy Davis
Little Sammy Davis
Little Sammy Davis is an American blues musician based in New York's Hudson Valley. Although his musical career began in the 1940s, he was not widely known until the mid-1990s when he began working in radio, singing, playing live on tour, and recording studio albums.-Early life and career:Born in...

. He hosts Midnight Rambles at his home in Woodstock, New York
Woodstock, New York
Woodstock is a town in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 5,884 at the 2010 census, down from 6,241 at the 2000 census.The Town of Woodstock is in the northern part of the county...

 that are open to the public.
The Midnight Ramble is an outgrowth of an idea Helm explained to Martin Scorsese in The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz
The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco...

.
Earlier in the 20th century, Helm explained, traveling medicine show
Medicine show
Medicine shows were traveling horse and wagon teams which peddled "miracle cure" medications and other products between various entertainment acts. Their precise origins unknown, medicine shows were common in the 19th century United States...

s and music shows such as F.S. Walcott Rabbit's Foot Minstrels, featuring African-American blues singers and dancers, would put on titillating performances in rural areas. This was also turned into a song by the Band, "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show," with the name altered so the lyric was easier to sing.

"After the finale, they'd have the midnight ramble," Helm told Scorsese. With young children off the premises, the show resumed: "The songs would get a little bit juicier. The jokes would get a little funnier and the prettiest dancer would really get down and shake it a few times. A lot of the rock and roll duck walks and moves came from that."

Artists who have performed at the Rambles include Helm's former bandmate Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson
Eric Garth Hudson is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist. As the organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for Canadian-American rock group The Band, he was a principal architect of the group's unique sound...

, as well as Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

, Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris is an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers' works and as a singer-songwriter, she is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner, working with numerous other artists including...

, Dr. John
Dr. John
Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. , better known by the stage name Dr. John , is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as Zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he came to wider...

, Chris Robinson, Allen Toussaint
Allen Toussaint
Allen Toussaint is an American musician, composer, record producer, and influential figure in New Orleans R&B.Many of Toussaint's songs have become familiar through numerous cover versions, including "Working in the Coalmine", "Ride Your Pony", "Fortune Teller", "Play Something Sweet ", "Southern...

, Donald Fagen
Donald Fagen
Donald Jay Fagen is an American musician and songwriter, best known as the co-founder, lead singer, and the principal songwriter of the rock band Steely Dan ....

 of Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan is an American rock band; its core members are Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop...

 and Jimmy Vivino
Jimmy Vivino
Jimmy Vivino is an American guitarist, keyboard player, singer, producer, and music director. He is best known as the leader of Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, the house band for the TBS late night program Conan...

 of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

's" The Max Weinberg 7. Other performers have included Sean Costello
Sean Costello
Sean Costello was an American blues musician, renowned for his fiery guitar playing and soulful singing. He released five critically acclaimed albums before his career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 28. Tinsley Ellis called him ‘the most gifted young blues guitarist on the scene.....

, The Muddy Waters Tribute Band, Pinetop Perkins
Pinetop Perkins
Joseph William Perkins , known by the stage name Pinetop Perkins, was an American blues musician, specializing in piano music...

, Hubert Sumlin
Hubert Sumlin
Hubert Sumlin is an American Chicago blues and electric blues guitarist and singer, best known for his celebrated work, from 1955, as guitarist in Howlin' Wolf's band. His singular playing is characterized by "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic...

, Gillian Welch
Gillian Welch
Gillian Welch is an American singer-songwriter. She performs with her musical partner, guitarist David Rawlings. Their sparse and dark musical style, which combines elements of Appalachian music, Bluegrass, and Americana, is described by The New Yorker as "at once innovative and obliquely...

, David Rawlings
David Rawlings
David Todd Rawlings is a professional guitarist and singer. He is best known as the longtime musical partner of bluegrass singer-songwriter Gillian Welch.David attended the Berklee College of Music and studied with guitar professor Lauren Passarelli....

, Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle , son of Steve Earle, stepson of Allison Moorer, and named for songwriter Townes Van Zandt is an AMA winning, Americana musician based in Nashville, Tennessee. Earle is signed to Bloodshot Records and has four released albums from 2007–2010...

, Bow Thayer, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson
Luther Johnson (Guitar Junior)
Luther Johnson is an American Chicago blues singer and guitarist, who performs under the name Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson....

, Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones is an American vocalist, musician, songwriter, and producer. Over the course of a three-decade career, Jones has recorded in various musical styles including rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul, and jazz standards.-Childhood:...

, Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor is an American folk singer, originally from Boston, Massachusetts.-Biography:Kate was born in Boston and grew up with her four brothers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where her father was Dean of the medical school at the University of North Carolina...

, Ollabelle
Ollabelle
Ollabelle is a New York based folk music group named after the influential Appalachian songwriter Ola Belle Reed. The group is composed of five singing multi-instrumentalists hailing from disparate parts of the United States, Canada and Australia.-History:...

, The Holmes Brothers
The Holmes Brothers
The Holmes Brothers are a vocal and instrumental trio originally from Christchurch, Virginia. Mixing sounds from blues, soul, gospel, and rhythm & blues, they have released nine original albums, with two reaching the top 5 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart. They have gained a following by playing...

, Catherine Russell, Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones is an American singer-songwriter and occasional actress.In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away With Me, which was certified a diamond album in 2002, selling over 20 million copies...

, Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Elvis Perkins in Dearland is the second studio album by Elvis Perkins, and his first with backing band Elvis Perkins in Dearland, released on March 10, 2009, on XL Recordings....

, Phil Lesh
Phil Lesh
Phillip Chapman Lesh is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career....

 (along with his sons Grahame and Brian), Hot Tuna
Hot Tuna
Hot Tuna is an American blues-rock band formed by bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen as a spin-off of Jefferson Airplane. It plays acoustic and electric versions of original and traditional blues songs.- Jefferson Airplane side project :...

 (although Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.-Biography:...

 introduced the group as "The Secret Squirrels"), MichaelAngelo D'Arrigo with various members of the Sistine Chapel, Johnny Johnson, Ithalia, and David Bromberg
David Bromberg
David Bromberg is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. Bromberg has an eclectic style, playing bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, country and western, and rock and roll equally well. He is known for his quirky, humorous lyrics, and the ability to play rhythm and lead guitar at the...

.

For drumming, in recent years Helm has switched to the matched grip
Matched grip
Matched grip is a method of holding drum sticks and mallets to play percussion instruments. In the matched grip each hand holds its stick in the same way, whereas in the traditional grip, each hand holds the stick differently. Almost all commonly used matched grips are overhand grips...

 and adopted a less busy, greatly simplified style, as opposed to his years with The Band when he played with the traditional grip
Traditional grip
Traditional grip is a technique used to hold drum sticks while playing percussion instruments. Unlike matched grip, each hand holds the stick differently. Commonly, the right hand uses an overhand grip and the left hand uses an underhand grip...

.

Helm has been touring every year for the last few years, generally on the northeastern part of the American mainland, traveling to shows by private bus. Since 2007, Helm has performed in larger venues including the Beacon Theater in New York. Dr. John
Dr. John
Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. , better known by the stage name Dr. John , is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as Zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he came to wider...

 and Warren Haynes
Warren Haynes
Warren Haynes is an American rock and blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Haynes is best known for his work as long time guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band and as founding member of the jam band Gov't Mule. Early in his career he was a guitarist for David Allan Coe and The Dickey...

 (Allman Brothers Band, Govt. Mule) and Garth Hudson played at the concerts as well along with several other guests. At a show in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, Canada, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

 joined to sing "Tears of Rage." The Alexis P. Suter Band has been an opening act. Helm is a favorite of Don Imus
Don Imus
John Donald "Don" Imus, Jr. is an American radio host, humorist, philanthropist and writer. His nationally-syndicated talk show, Imus in the Morning, is broadcast throughout the United States by Citadel Media and relayed on television by the Fox Business Network.-Personal life:Imus was born in...

 and has been frequently featured on Imus in the Morning
Imus in the Morning
Imus in the Morning is an American radio show hosted by Don Imus on Cumulus Media Networks , and simulcast for television on Fox Business Network....

.
In the Summer of 2009 it was reported that a reality television series centering around the Midnight Ramble was in the works.

Dirt Farmer and After


Fall 2007 saw the release of Dirt Farmer, Helm's first studio solo album since 1982. Dedicated to Helm's parents and co-produced by his daughter Amy, the album combines traditional tunes Levon recalled from his youth with newer songs (by Steve Earle
Steve Earle
Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock and Texas Country as well as his political views. He is also a producer, author, a political activist, and an actor, and has written and directed a play....

, Paul Kennerley
Paul Kennerley
Paul Kennerley is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer working in the American contemporary country music industry. His works include the concept albums, White Mansions and The Legend of Jesse James...

 and others) which flow from similar historical streams.

The album was released to almost immediate critical acclaim, and earned him a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 in the Traditional Folk Album category for 2007.

Helm declined to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony, instead holding a "Midnight Gramble" and celebrating the birth of his grandson, named Lavon (Lee) Henry Collins in honor of Helm, whose birth name is Mark Lavon Helm and who was called by his middle name since a young age.

In 2008 Levon Helm performed at Warren Haynes
Warren Haynes
Warren Haynes is an American rock and blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Haynes is best known for his work as long time guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band and as founding member of the jam band Gov't Mule. Early in his career he was a guitarist for David Allan Coe and The Dickey...

' Mountain Jam
Mountain Jam (festival)
Mountain Jam is a three-day music festival in upstate New York, held at the world class Hunter Mountain ski resort the weekend after Memorial Day. In its short history, Mountain Jam has become one of the top music festivals in the U.S. and the premier festival in the Northeast. Rolling Stone...

 Music Festival in Hunter, NY. Helm played alongside Warren Haynes on the last day of the three-day festival. Levon also joined Bob Weir
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, most recognized as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. After the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995, Weir performed with The Other Ones, later known as The Dead, together with other former members of the Grateful Dead...

 & Ratdog
Ratdog
RatDog , is an American rock band. The group began as a side project for Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Rob Wasserman. After the Grateful Dead disbanded in December 1995, following the death of Jerry Garcia on August 9, 1995, RatDog became Bob Weir's primary band...

 on stage as they closed out the festival. Levon Helm performed to great acclaim at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival
Bonnaroo Music Festival
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is an annual four day music festival created and produced by Superfly Productions and AC Entertainment, held at Great Stage Park on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. It hosted its tenth annual event June 9–12, 2011...

 in Manchester, Tennessee
Manchester, Tennessee
Manchester is a city in Coffee County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 10,102 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Coffee County...

, held June 12–15.

Helm drummed on a couple of tracks for Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. is an American blues, folk, and rock guitarist, best known for his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.-Biography:...

's February, 2009 album River of Time
River of Time (Jorma Kaukonen album)
River of Time is a Jorma Kaukonen studio album released in 2009 and his 2nd on Red House Records. The album reached #21 on the Billboard "Top Heatseekers" chart, and has received generally favorable reviews. All new recordings make up the album with a combination of songs that had been previously...

, recorded at the Levon Helm studio.

Helm released Electric Dirt
Electric Dirt
Electric Dirt is a 2009 album by American musician Levon Helm. It is the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2007 album Dirt Farmer. In Uncuts list of the 150 best albums between 2000 until 2009, Electric Dirt was listed 80th...

on his own label on June 30, 2009. The album won a best album Grammy for the newly created Americana category in 2010. He performed on the David Letterman
David Letterman
David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC...

 show on July 9, 2009, touring, in a supporting role, with the Black Crowes during the same year.

In March, 2010, a documentary on Helm's day-to-day life titled Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm was released. Directed by Jacob Hatley, it made its debut at the South by Southwest
South by Southwest
South by Southwest is an Austin, Texas based company dedicated to planning conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. Their current roster of annual events include: SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, SXSWedu, and SXSWeco and take place every spring in Austin, Texas, United States...

 film festival in Austin, Texas, and went on to screen at the Los Angeles Film Festival
Los Angeles Film Festival
The Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times is an event held annually in June in downtown Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Film Festival began as the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 1995. The first LAIFF took place over the course of five days in a single...

 in June.

On May 11, 2011, the Ramble at the Ryman live album was released by Vanguard Records
Vanguard Records
Vanguard Records is a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. It started as a classical label, but is perhaps best known for its catalogue of recordings by a number of pivotal folk and blues artists from the 1960s; the Bach Guild was a subsidiary...

. It was recorded during a show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in 2008 and features Levon Helm'
s band (led by multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell and vocalist and mandolinist Amy Helm) playing The Band's well-known songs as well as Helm's solo material.

As an actor


Helm has also had a considerable career as an actor. He has appeared in the movies The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a 2005 American drama film directed by Tommy Lee Jones and written by Guillermo Arriaga. It stars Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Julio Cedillo, and Dwight Yoakam....

, Shooter, Smooth Talk
Smooth Talk
Smooth Talk is a 1985 drama film, loosely based on Joyce Carol Oates' 1966 short story Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, which was in turn inspired by the Tucson murders committed by Charles Schmid. The protagonist and main character, Connie Wyatt, is played by Laura Dern...

, The Right Stuff, The Dollmaker
The Dollmaker
The Dollmaker is an American made-for-TV movie, starring Jane Fonda. It was first broadcast on ABC in 1984. The movie is based on the novel of the same title, written by Harriette Arnow and originally published in 1954.-Plot summary:...

, Feeling Minnesota
Feeling Minnesota
Feeling Minnesota is a 1996 American romantic comedy film, starring Keanu Reeves, Vincent D'Onofrio, Cameron Diaz, Tuesday Weld and Courtney Love.-Plot summary:...

, End of the Line
, In the Electric Mist
In the Electric Mist
In the Electric Mist is a 2009 Franco-American drama/mystical film based on the novel In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke...

, Fire Down Below, Staying Together
Staying Together (film)
Staying Together is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Lee Grant and produced by Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. The film stars Sean Astin, Stockard Channing, Melinda Dillon, Levon Helm , Dermot Mulroney, Tim Quill, and Daphne Zuniga...

and portrayed Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter, author and philanthropist. Born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner father, Lynn married at 13 years old, was a mother soon after, and moved to Washington with her husband, Oliver Lynn. Their marriage was sometimes tumultuous; he...

's father in the film Coal Miner's Daughter
Coal Miner's Daughter
Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 American biographical film which tells the story of country music icon Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek in her Academy Award for Best Actress winning role, Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D'Angelo and Levon Helm, and was directed by Michael Apted.-Background:The film was...

opposite Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek is an American actress and singer. She came to international prominence for her for role as Carrie White in Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film Carrie for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination...

 and Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He has received three Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive....

.

Tributes


Marc Cohn
Marc Cohn
Marc Craig Cohn is an American folk rock singer-songwriter and musician.- Personal life :Cohn was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Beachwood High School in Beachwood, a Cleveland suburb. He then attended Oberlin College....

 wrote the song "Listening to Levon
Join the Parade
Join the Parade is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, released in 2007.An MP3 version of the album was available on iTunes on September 25, 2007 and contained the bonus track "You're a Shadow", which is not on the studio release.The first track off the album to hit...

" in 2007. "The Man Behind the Drums," written by Robert Earl Keen and Bill Whitbeck, appeared on Keen's 2009 album The Rose Hotel
The Rose Hotel
The Rose Hotel is an album by American folk music artist Robert Earl Keen. It was released on September 29, 2009 by Lost Highway Records. The album peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.-Track listing:...

.

With The Band


  • 1968 Music from Big Pink
    Music from Big Pink
    Music from Big Pink is the 1968 debut album by rock band The Band. It features the well-known song, "The Weight". The music was composed partly in 'Big Pink', a house shared by Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson in West Saugerties, in upstate New York...

  • 1969 The Band
    The Band (album)
    - Bonus Track listing from 2000 re-release :All songs by Robbie Robertson unless otherwise noted. The 2000 re-release has also been packaged as a double CD with The Band's debut album Music from Big Pink.- Personnel :...

  • 1970 Stage Fright
    Stage Fright (album)
    Stage Fright is the third album by Canadian-American group The Band released in 1970. Much more of a rock album than its predecessors, it was a departure from their previous two efforts in that its tone was darker and featured less of the harmony vocal blend that had been a centerpiece of those two...

  • 1971 Cahoots
  • 1972 Rock of Ages
    Rock of Ages (album)
    -Side two:-Side three:-Side four:-2001 bonus disc track listing:-Personnel:* Rick Danko - vocal, bass, violin* Levon Helm - vocal, drums, mandolin* Garth Hudson - organ, piano, accordion, tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone solos...

    (live concert album)
  • 1973 Moondog Matinee
    Moondog Matinee
    Moondog Matinee is the sixth album by Canadian/American rock group The Band released in 1973. It consists entirely of cover material taken from the group's love of R&B and blues music with one exception in their interpretation of the theme from the film The Third Man.The idea had been to replicate...

    (collection of covers)
  • 1974 Before the Flood
    Before the Flood
    Side threeSide four-Personnel:* Bob Dylan – vocal, guitars, harmonica, piano* Robbie Robertson – electric guitar, backing vocal* Richard Manuel – vocal, piano, electric piano, organ, drums* Garth Hudson – Lowrey organ, clavinet, piano, synthesizer, saxophone...

    (live album with The Band and Bob Dylan)
  • 1975 Northern Lights - Southern Cross
    Northern Lights - Southern Cross
    - Bonus track listing from 2001 Re-release:-Group members and other participants:*Rick Danko: Bass, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, trombone, vocals*Levon Helm: drums, guitars, mandolin, piano, keyboards, vocals...

  • 1975 The Basement Tapes
    The Basement Tapes
    The Basement Tapes is a 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band. The songs featuring Dylan's vocals were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album's release, at houses in and around Woodstock, New York, where Dylan and the Band lived...

    (with Bob Dylan)
  • 1977 Islands
    Islands (The Band album)
    - Bonus tracks from 2001 CD re-release:All songs written by Robbie Robertson except where indicated.-Personnel:The Band*Rick Danko – bass guitar, vocals*Levon Helm – drums, vocals...

  • 1978 The Last Waltz
    The Last Waltz
    The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco...

    (live concert album with additional studio material)
  • 1993 Jericho
    Jericho (album)
    -The Band:*Rick Danko: Bass guitar, guitars, fiddle, trombone, keyboards, vocals.*Levon Helm: Drums, percussion, mandolin, guitar, vocals.*Garth Hudson: Organ, keyboards, accordion, electric piano, saxophones, synthesizers, horns....

  • 1996 High on the Hog
  • 1998 Jubilation

Selected solo and other efforts

  • 1977 Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars (ABC
    ABC Records
    ABC Records was an American record label, founded in New York City in 1955 as ABC-Paramount Records. It originated as the main popular music label operated the Am-Par Record Corporation, the music subsidiary of the American Broadcasting Company . ABC-Paramount Records' first president was Samuel H....

    ) U.S. #142
  • 1978 Levon Helm (ABC) U.S. #206
  • 1980 American Son
    American Son (album)
    American Son is a Country Rock album by American musician Levon Helm, who is most famous for his work as drummer for rock group The Band. It was released in October 1980 on MCA Records, and was Helm's third studio album...

    (MCA
    MCA Records
    MCA Records was an American-based record company owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group , of which MCA Records was still part. MCA Records was absorbed by Geffen Records in 2003...

    )
  • 1982 Levon Helm (Capitol
    Capitol Records
    Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...

    )
  • 1999 The Ties That Bind (Raven Records
    Raven Records
    Raven Records is an Australian record label that specializes in retrospectives and reissues or recordings by American, British and Australian artists.Raven Records was established in 1979 by Glenn A. Baker, Kevin Mueller and Peter Shillito....

    )
  • 2000 Souvenir, Vol. 1 (Breeze Hill) – Levon Helm & The Crowmatix
  • 2005 Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume I
  • 2005 Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume II
  • 2006 Levon Helm & the RCO All Stars Live (Levon Helm Studios)
  • 2007 Dirt Farmer
    Dirt Farmer
    Dirt Farmer is an album by American musician Levon Helm, former drummer for The Band. The album was released on October 30, 2007 on Vanguard Records, and was Helm's first studio album since 1982. The album contains covers of songs by Steve Earle and J. B. Lenoir, and features his daughter Amy, as...

    (Vanguard
    Vanguard Records
    Vanguard Records is a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. It started as a classical label, but is perhaps best known for its catalogue of recordings by a number of pivotal folk and blues artists from the 1960s; the Bach Guild was a subsidiary...

    ), U.S. #102
  • 2009 Electric Dirt
    Electric Dirt
    Electric Dirt is a 2009 album by American musician Levon Helm. It is the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2007 album Dirt Farmer. In Uncuts list of the 150 best albums between 2000 until 2009, Electric Dirt was listed 80th...

    (Dirt Farmer Music), U.S. #36
  • 2011 Ramble At The Ryman (Vanguard)

External links