April 19: Levon Helm died four years ago, Rest In Peace

April 19: Levon Helm died four years ago, Rest In Peace

Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm , was an American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band.

Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of The Band’s recordings, such as “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, “Ophelia” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.

“The Mountain.” (written by Steve Earle) From Levon Helm’s album “Dirt Farmer.” Photographs by Lewis Hine. Levon’s distinct vocal and forceful performance really shines in this wonderful interpretation (audio only):

His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008, and in November of that year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #91 in the list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, Electric Dirt, his 2009 follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, an inaugural category in 2010. In 2011, his live album Ramble at the Ryman was nominated for the Grammy in the same category and won. (wikipedia)

Levon was a Mountain, a Rock, an American institution, we miss him deeply!

Blind Willie McTell (written by Bob Dylan):

Album of the day, Dirt Farmer:


Other APR-19:

Alan Price (born 19 April 1942, Fatfield, Washington, County Durham) is an English musician, best known as the original keyboardist for the British band the Animals and for his subsequent solo work.

Price is a self-taught musician and was educated at Jarrow Grammar School, South Tyneside and was a founding member of the Tyneside group the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which was later renamed the Animals. His organ-playing on songs by the Animals, such as “House of the Rising Sun”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “Bring It On Home To Me” was a key element in the success of the group.

Alan Price

Bob Dylan recorded “Neighborhood Bully” in 1983

Steve Douglas died 19th of April in 1993

Steven Douglas Kreisman (24 September 1938 – 19 April 1993), better known as Steve Douglas,was an American saxophonist, flautist and clarinetist.

Douglas is best known as a Los Angeles session musician, a member of The Wrecking Crew, who worked with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. He can be heard on records by Duane Eddy, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Willy DeVille, Bob Dylan, The Ramones and many others. He was also a record producer, having produced Mink DeVille’s Le Chat Bleu.

On April 19, 1993, while warming up for a recording session with Ry Cooder, Steve Douglas collapsed and died. Heart failure was the official given cause of death. He was only 54. In 2003, he was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category, Sidemen.

The best (in our humble opinion) records he played on:

  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  • Bob Dylan: Street Legal,Bob Dylan at Budokan
  • Duane Eddy: Have ‘Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel
  • Mink DeVille: Le Chat Bleu
  • The Ramones: End of the Century

For us at JV it is also of importance that he played on two more Bob Dylan albums: Shot of Love and Knocked out loaded.


– Hallgeir

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