When Levon Helm passed away on April 19th in 2012, thousands of friends, neighbors, and fans filed past his closed coffin, and hundreds lined the streets of Woodstock, New York, as a Dixieland processional marched to his funeral. He was laid to rest next to The Band’s bassist, Rick Danko, who died in 1999. Part of Route 375 in Ulster County has since been designated by the governor as Levon Helm Memorial Boulevard.
In his final years, despite being diagnosed with throat cancer, Helm never lost heart. His solo career began in 1977 and he had an amazing revival over the last several years. His success came as much from his skills as a singer and songwriter as from his brilliance as a drummer. He won three Grammy awards: Best Traditional Folk Album 2007 for Dirt Farmer, and two for Best Americana Albums, one in 2009 for Electric Dirt, and in 2011 for Ramble at the Ryman. That last album kicked off the idea for a series of what Helm called “Midnight Ramble” Sessions at his studio in Woodstock, where he held informal public performances featuring a stellar lineup of guests such as Jackson Browne, JD Souther, Maria Muldaur, and Donald Fagen. Top session musicians like Anton Fig and Tony Levin also joined in, as well as Helm’s own band and others, including fellow Arkansan Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters.
The film Ain’t in It for My Health at the READ MORE ...