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The Band

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1968 – 1976, 1983 – 1999)

The Band was an influential Canadian-American rock and roll group of the 1960s and ’70s, formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Band included Robbie Robertson (guitar, piano); Richard Manuel (1943-1986) (piano, harmonica, drums, saxophone, organ); Garth Hudson (organ, piano, clavinet, accordion, synthesizer, saxophone); Rick Danko (1943-1999) (bass guitar, violin, trombone), and Levon Helm (1940-2012) (drums, mandolin, guitar, bass guitar).

The members of The Band first worked together as The Hawks, the backing band of rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins from 1959 until 1963. Afterwards, Bob Dylan recruited the quintet for his history-making 1965/1966 world tour and they joined him on the informal recordings that became the acclaimed Basement Tapes.

Dubbed “The Band” by their peers, the group left the comfort of their communal home in Saugerties, NY to begin recording as a group unto themselves. The Band recorded two of the most important albums of the late 1960s: their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the hit single “The Weight”) and 1969’s The Band. These critically praised albums helped conceive country rock as something more than a genre, but rather as a celebration of “Americana.” As such, throughout their career they would repopularize traditional American musical forms during the psychedelic era. The Band dissolved in 1976; Martin Scorcese’s landmark concert film “The Last Waltz” documented their final performance. They reformed in 1983 without founding guitarist and main songwriter Robbie Robertson.

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