All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » The Band

The Band The Band

For about six years, from 1968 through 1975, the Band was one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the public) as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Their albums were analyzed and reviewed as intensely as any records by their one-time employer and sometime mentor Bob Dylan. And for a long time, their personalities were as recognizable individually to the casual music public as the members of the Beatles.

The Band, 1968.Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson in the Catskills posing for Music From Big Pink. Photo © Elliott Landy.

The group's history went back nearly as far as the Beatles, to 1958 (just about the time that the formative Beatles gave up skiffle for rock & roll). Ronnie Hawkins, an Arkansas-born rock & roller who aspired to a real career, put together a backing band that year that included his fellow Arkansan Levon Helm (born May 26, 1940), who played drums (as well as credible guitar) and had led his own band, the Jungle Bush Beaters. The new outfit, Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks, was recording by the spring of 1958 and gigged throughout the south and also up in Ontario, Canada, where the money was better than in their native American south. It was the fact of being based in Canada late in 1959, coupled with pianist Willard Jones leaving the lineup, that got Hawkins to start looking at some of the local music talent in Toronto; Hawkins approached a musician named Scott Cushnie about joining the Hawks on keyboards. Cushnie was already playing in a band with Robbie Robertson (born in 1944), however, and would only join Hawkins if he came along.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Album Woodstock by The Band

Woodstock

Left Field Media
2019

buy
Album The Band: 50th Anniversary Edition (2CD) by The Band

The Band: 50th...

Universal Music Enterprises
2019

buy
 

The Band: A Musical...

Capitol Records
2005

buy
Album Rock of Ages Deluxe Edition by The Band

Rock of Ages Deluxe...

Capitol Records
2002

buy
Album The Band: Rock of Ages by The Band

The Band: Rock of Ages

Capitol Records
2000

buy
Album The Basement Tapes by The Band

The Basement Tapes

Capitol Records
1967

buy

Watch

Similar

Eric Clapton Eric Clapton
guitar, electric
Neil Young Neil Young
guitar
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan
voice / vocals
Allman Brothers Band Allman Brothers Band
band/orchestra
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen
composer/conductor
Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell
voice / vocals
Crosby Stills & Nash Crosby Stills & Nash
band/orchestra

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.