Remembering The Band's Levon Helm

This article is more than 7 years old.
Levon Helm performs at the Newport Folk Festival at in Newport, R.I. in 2008. Helm, who was in the final stages of his battle with cancer, died Thursday. (AP)
Levon Helm performs at the Newport Folk Festival at in Newport, R.I. in 2008. Helm, who was in the final stages of his battle with cancer, died Thursday. (AP)

By: Alex Ashlock

I always thought the Band played the most American music of anyone. And on Facebook this week, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy echoed that better than anyone has so far, when he shared his thoughts on the passing of the great singer and drummer Levon Helm.

"Levon was the glue, not just in The Band, but in all of what people think of when they think of North American music," Tweedy writes. “He was a great unifier; a great glue. He unified blues and country, rural and city, and even North and South. Luckily he showed us all the way to keep it together and let it swing." Well said Jeff.

On the show today, we are paying tribute to a group of American musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.

They played, without credit, on countless hit songs recorded in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s. When you hear the Byrds' recording of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," it is Roger McGuinn playing that ringing Rickenbacker guitar, but it's Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew on drums.

Hal is 83 now, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a great drummer. Today, we're saying goodbye to another great one. Levon Helm died this week from cancer. He was 71. Rest in peace Levon.

This program aired on April 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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