- Chris McDonald
Canadian rock group. It comprised Robbie Robertson (b Toronto, ON, 5 July 1943; electric guitar and songwriting), Levon Helm (b Elaine, AR, 26 May 1940; d Woodstock, NY, 19 April 2012; drums), Richard Manuel (b Stratford, ON, 3 April 1943; d Winter Park, FL, 4 March 1986; piano and songwriting), Rick Danko (b Simcoe, ON, 29 Dec 1942; d Hurley, NY, 10 Dec 1999; bass guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and songwriting), and Garth Hudson (b Windsor, ON, 2 Aug 1937; organ, accordion, woodwind, and brass). All except Hudson also sang.
Following a move to Toronto in 1958, the Arkansas rockabilly performer Ronnie Hawkins hired a backing group that later became the Band. Helm was the original drummer, but other positions in the group changed for three years, until Robertson, Manuel, Danko, and Hudson were established as permanent members. In 1964 the group left Hawkins and performed first as the Levon Helm Sextet, then Levon Helm and the Hawks, and finally as the Band. The group was hired by Bob Dylan to back him on his first electric rock tour (...