The Band

The Band was a Canadian-American rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 1967. It consisted of four Canadians and one American: Rick Danko (bass, guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (organ, keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, songwriting, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar). The Band combined elements of Americana, folk, rock, jazz, country, and R&B, influencing musicians such as George Harrison, Elton John, the Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton and Wilco.

The Band
The Band sitting on a log
The Band in 1969: (left to right) Manuel, Hudson, Helm, Robertson, Danko
Background information
Also known asLevon and the Hawks
Canadian Squires
The Crackers
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Woodstock, New York, U.S.
Years active1967 (1967)–1977, 1983–1999
LabelsCapitol/EMI, Rhino, Warner Bros.
Past membersRick Danko
Levon Helm
Garth Hudson
Richard Manuel
Robbie Robertson
Jim Weider
Stan Szelest
Randy Ciarlante
Richard Bell

Between 1958 and 1963, the group was known as the Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins. In the mid-1960s, they gained recognition for backing Bob Dylan, and the 1966 concert tour was notable as Dylan's first with an electric band. After leaving Dylan and changing their name to "The Band", they released several records to critical and popular acclaim, including their debut album Music from Big Pink in 1968. According to AllMusic, the album's influence on several generations of musicians has been substantial: musician Roger Waters called Music from Big Pink the second-most influential record in the history of rock and roll,[2] and music journalist Al Aronowitz called it "country soul ... a sound never heard before".[3] Their most popular songs included "The Weight", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and “Up on Cripple Creek”.

Music critic Bruce Eder described the Band as "one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics ... as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones."[4] The Band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.[5][6] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 50th on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time,[7] and ranked "The Weight" 41st on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.[8] In 2008, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[9] In 2014, they were inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.[10]

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