Black Music Matters Festival

Helm is in "final stages" from cancer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 – Levon Helm is near death, his family reported Monday.

Helm, who forged his own career as head of the Levon Helm Band after drumming for The Band, has been suffering from cancer.

"Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration...he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage..."

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.

From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy

Helm, 71, continued performing despite his cancer. In the 1990s, he suffered from throat cancer, but recovered from that and continued playing and singing. During the past few years, he sang far less in concert. His daughter, Amy, took many of the lead vocals. Last year, his live album "Ramble at the Ryman," won a Grammy for Best Americana Album.

More news for Levon Helm

CD reviews for Levon Helm

Ramble at the Ryman CD review - Ramble at the Ryman
Time can be a funny thing. Where the passage of decades has made Bob Dylan's voice nearly unintelligible, the years have sanded some of the grit off of Levon Helm's legendary pipes. Yes, we're aware Mr. Helm has had medical issues with his throat, and don't wish to make light of his situation, but those elements have rendered his voice more smooth and supple whereas the best known versions of his songs had a little more grit at their core. That doesn't mean you »»»
Electric Dirt CD review - Electric Dirt
Even when he was a young man, before the years and the ailments, Levon Helm's vocals sounded like they were from a bygone era. It was a voice to make you believe that medicine shows still traveled the earth. That wonderful, weathered instrument is the rustic heart of this new record, just as Helm's ageless drumming is its heartbeat. And despite a title that suggests a more modern program than 2007's "Dirt Farmer," the songs, like their vessel, are mostly from another time. »»»
Dirt Farmer CD review - Dirt Farmer
Levon Helm's music has always been firmly rooted in early American music well past the Carters and Stanleys. This embraces this heritage in its selections of traditional and contemporary Americana. As its title implies, "Dirt Farmer" is earthy with a raw and vital energy. It is Helm's valentine to life and the music that continues to sustain him. Helm explains in the liner notes his interest in revisiting some traditional songs he grew up playing, including "Little »»»