Levon Helm, key member of The Band, dies at 71

Updated

The Ed Show team was saddened to hear the news that Levon Helm, drummer and a leader singer of the acclaimed and influential roots rock group The Band, has died at age 71.   

Helm’s website says he died peacefully this afternoon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, just a mile or so from us here in New York (on Tuesday, the website said he was in the final stages of cancer).

Helm and his band mates were musical virtuosos who mined the roots of American music in the late 1960s as other rockers veered into psychedelia, heavy metal and jams. 

With songs like The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight and Up on Cripple Creek, The Band fused rock, blues, folk and gospel to create an authentically American sound.

Ironically, the Helm was the only American in the original group, born in Arkansas (the rest were from Canada). 

RIP Levon.  

What’s your favorite memory of Helm?  

Levon Helm, key member of The Band, dies at 71

Updated