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Levon Helm: 1940-2012

Here are five classic tunes to remember The Band’s drummer-vocalist by. Helm passed away April 19 in Manhattan at age 71, following a long battle with cancer

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1. ”The Weight” (1968)
Helm’s wonderfully weathered vocals gave the much- covered Band tune a suitably biblical vibe.

2. ”The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (1969)
The Band’s sole Southerner — indeed, sole non-Canadian — was at his most evocatively tortured on this saga of Civil War-era suffering.

3. ”Up On Cripple Creek” (1969)
A joyous Helm-sung tale of misbehavior, and The Band’s biggest chart hit.

4. ”Ophelia” (1975)
A highlight of The Band’s Northern Lights-Southern Cross album and another showcase for Helm’s vocals.

5. ”The Mountain” (2007)
Helm’s first bout with throat cancer in the late ’90s affected his voice but not his ability to break listeners’ hearts, as evident on this track from his Grammy-winning solo comeback album, Dirt Farmer.

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