Tue July 7, 2009
World Cafe Remembers Levon Helm
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:12 pm
This segment, from Jan. 18, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances. Here, we remember an Americana legend and drummer for the '60s rock group The Band, Levon Helm, who died in 2012.
Levon Helm first picked up a guitar at age 8, but soon switched to drums. Though best known as the famous drummer for the rock group The Band, Helm continued to influence music with his collaborations and solo works.
The Band's 1968 debut, Music From Big Pink, mixed country, rock, folk, classical and Americana, and proved to be a classic — as would The Band's 1976 farewell performance, captured in the album and film The Last Waltz. The Band was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for its influence on the rock music of the '60s, '70s and beyond.
Helm launched a solo career apart from The Band, releasing several albums. In the late '90s, he turned to blues with a new group, Levon Helm & The Barn Burners. In 2007, he released his first solo record in 25 years, the Grammy-winning Dirt Farmer.