R.I.P. Levon Helm of "The Band"...Rock legend performs "The Weight", "Ophelia" at his Woodstock, N.Y. home in February 2012

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Any day now ... any day now ... I shall be released.


From Rolling Stone Magazine :

Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of the Band, Dead at 71 ...

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/#ixzz1sbKmkBrE

Photos of the Band co-founder's incredible career

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/photos/levon-helm-through-the-years-20120417#ixzz1sbOXyyam

From the CNN web site : Helm, co-founder of The Band, dead at 71

From http://www.bobdylan.com/us/home

April 19, 2012

In response to Levon’s passing

He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I'm going to miss him, as I'm sure a whole lot of others will too.


While roaming through the youtube library very late on Thursday night and "playing" music from "The Band" in the chat room following the news of Levon Helm's death, I ran across these little gems from PBS Video. I thought this might be a good place to "bring into the light" these recent pieces of music video, which were shot at Levon's home in Woodstock, New York, this February, 2012.

The PBS Video library also contained an interview with Levon Helm shot at his home in February.

from the PBS Video web page :

Program: Sound Tracks

Episode: Quick Hits

Levon Helm - drummer and lead singer for The Band - presides over what he calls “midnight rambles” – concerts in his Woodstock, N.Y. barn, where he’s surrounded by musical friends and family, including his daughter, singer Amy Helm. His voice may be raspy, but his energetic drumming and high-beam smile can warm the coldest winter night. Part of the Sound Tracks: Quick Hits series by PBS Arts..

Levon Helm Performs "The Weight"


Levon Helm Performs "Ophelia"


Quick Hits: An Interview with Levon Helm

American legend Levon Helm reflects on battling cancer and his lifelong journey in music.


The home page for PBS Video : http://video.pbs.org/

and the Sound Tracks program : http://video.pbs.org/program/sound-tracks/


I couldn't help but notice that fans of Levon Helm and The Band were leaving dedications to him in comments all over the youtube pages for the videos, some even before his death when they learned he was ill, and some when they learned that his condition was grave. A sample of these can be seen in a google search for the combination of "The Band" "The Last Waltz" and youtube. Have fun with the music, remembering the man as he was.


"Top Tracks for The Band" from youtube


The Last Waltz (full album)


Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm


Requiescat In Pace Levon Helm, thanks for the memories...

thanks miksilvr,

In 1973, I had been truckin around the country and discovered central Florida when the Watkins Glen festival (Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, Band) was attended by a crowd of 500000 people. I heard 600k at the time and thought 3 bands? I was from Pennsylvania not that far away, but as things turned out I missed it. They rearranged in the 80's w/o the originals and did some small gigs in local gardens. Playing them now in fond memory, this tokes for you Levon. The Last Waltz is a favorite. Up on Cripple Creek and The weight was standard issue. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. I wonder if that's why the rednecks are still so pissed off. Life Is A Carnival even if we take it too seriously sometimes. Evangeline with Emmylou Harris and Levon with the Hawks, Dylan or Robertson was still Levon Helm. RIP

The Band

"A Musical History's" release concludes a comprehensive restoration campaign for The Band's entire Capitol Records catalog. In 2000 and 2001, The Band's original Capitol albums were remastered and reissued with bonus tracks: "Music From Big Pink" (1968); "The Band" (1969); "Stage Fright" (1970); "Cahoots" (1971); "Rock Of Ages" (1972); "Moondog Matinee" (1973); "Northern Lights-Southern Cross" (1975); "Islands" (1977); and a new "Greatest Hits" compilation was released.

Between 1958 and 1962, the then-teenaged multi-instrumentalists Levon Helm (drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano, vocals), Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums) and Garth Hudson (keyboards, horns) first performed and recorded together as members of the backing band for Ronnie Hawkins called the Hawks. In late 1963, the Hawks struck out on their own and became Levon & the Hawks, playing and recording under this name in 1964 and 1965 .Between 1968 and 1976, The Band released seven albums, and two additional releases followed in 1977 and 1978.

The Band's legacy lives on, both in their own recordings and in their tangible influence on popular music since they first hit the scene, wowing not only Bob Dylan, but many other major players of the day, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Miles Davis. Making Americana music before the term even existed, Rick, Levon, Garth, Richard and Robbie collectively constituted the only ensemble to ever rightfully earn the sobriquet "The Band."

DdC's picture
Mar. 22, 2012 1:39 am

I found this youtube version of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" today while remembering Levon Helm. The video is a montage of Civil War photographs, and was well done; the music is from "The Last Waltz" concert. The web page also contains in the comments two dedications to Levon Helm from the poster, the lyrics to the song, and the web site address for the user who built the page.


Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Bruce Springsteen on Levon Helm :

We get so used to hearing versions of the thing ... Levon is The Thing !

I finally got around to watching my recording of the 4/22 show for CBS Sunday Morning late that night. In it was a tribute to Levon Helm by Bill Flanagan of MTV that I thought was really good, well worth posting here for his fans. I was just about to log on to my account at Verizon to figure out how to upload the show from my DVR to the net, when I had an idea ... check youtube ! Within 5 minutes, I was in luck. The tag on the youtube page indicates that it was published by "CBS" .

Thank you, CBS. And thank you, Bill Flanagan, for sharing your experiences with Levon with us.

Levon Helm: A second victory lap

Published on Apr 22, 2012 by CBS

Many have looked to Levon Helm as a representation of living, breathing rock and roll. He died in April 2012, but left a long-lasting legacy. MTV's Bill Flanagan reports.


Note : on the right side of the above youtube page is a link to another page with an odd little clip labeled "Levon Helm, "Ophelia," Oct. 16," ... click on the link for that page, which I've included below, and you will find links to other clips of Levon performing in the last few years. Some of these performances were at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Roll your mouse over the boxes to see the full text of the titles for each clip. The latest date shown on these clips is for an appearance in Ann Arbor, Michigan on 3/9/12.


Bill Flanagan's description of the experience for the audience of being at one of Levon's Midnight Rambles is also reflected in this blog entry I found posted by Scott Regan of WXII TV and Radio, Rochester, NY in 2008 :

The Highland Ramble- Levon Helm comes to Rochester | WXXI

I also found a few references to a segment on Levon that was part of the Art Beat series on the PBS News Hour in 2009 :

Levon Helm : Rambling on the Roots | Art Beat | PBS NewsHour | PBS

Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

This weekend we lost Cleotha "Cleedi" Staples, the oldest of the sisters from the Staple Singers. She is in a far better place now than where she has been in the last 12 years or so of her life. She will be missed.

The love that she and her sisters and Pops put into "The Weight" at The Last Waltz concert easily makes that my favorite tune from the concert. I never seem to be able to listen to it just once.

A few minutes ago while playing it I learned something new about that performance while reading the comments on the youtube page for the song. Well, check them out for yourself, and see what I learned. I was listening to the tune for the 4th time while writing the comment I added, and now I'm on number 5!


The Weight - The Last Waltz


The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There

The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself

The Staple Singers - 'Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)'

The Staple Singers - Let's Do It Again

The Staple Singers - If You're Ready (Come Go With Me )

The Staple Singers - Will the Circle Be Unbroken

The Staple Singers - It's Gonna Rain

The Staple Singers - Top of the mountain

The Staple Singers - I Want To Thank You


Cleotha Staples, eldest of Staple Singers siblings, dies at 78

Cleotha Staples of Staple Singers siblings dies

Cleotha Staples obituary

Facebook tributes from V103 Chicago


obituary for Cleotha Staples containing some songs from the Staple Singers first gospel album in 1959:

Gospel Legend Cleotha 'Cleedi' Staples Dies


Thanks for the love, Cleedi ... thanks for the love!

While writing this I have been reunited with some of the other songs from the Staples family, some that I had not heard for a while, and found some I had not heard before.


Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloading. So why are they trying to legalize it?

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloaders.

So why do they support right to work laws - which literally legalize freeloading?

Our nation's nine unelected monarchs on the Supreme Court are poised to deal yet another blow to organized labor.

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