Levon Helm has lost his battle with cancer, his wife and daughter announced today. The drummer was a few weeks shy of his 72nd birthday.
Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm was born May 26, 1940, and grew up in the small town of Turkey Scratch, Ark.
He joined rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins' band and moved to Canada shortly after he graduated from high school, but was working on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico when he was recalled to the music scene to become part of Bob Dylan's backup band, The Band.
The Band is remembered for "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Up on Cripple Creek," among other hits and standards.
Levon Helm died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
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