Classic Drummer Hall of Fame
Honoring Music's Most Influential Drummers
As voted by the readers of Classic Drummer Magazine
How deep can a pocket feel? How soulfully can a song be sung? Just listen to late and great Levon Helm. How can two instruments, drums and voice, blend into a single emotion played by a single artist? Just listen to Levon.
Levon Helm is known best as the drummer and singer on many of The Band’s most-loved recordings, such as “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and his legacy is one of heart-felt singing and just-right drumming. He was the grounding force for The Band as their only member from the South, were their key influences of the blues, country and rockabilly were born.
Honing his art through years on the road with future Band mates with Ronnie Hawkins and later the Hawks, he backed Dylan when he first decided to go electric. However, in the face of constant booing from the folkies, Levon left the group only to rejoin them when they landed a recording contract and began work in a shared house in Woodstock, NY know as Big Pink.
After The Band parted ways as documented in the 1976 film the Last Waltz, Levon continued to perform and record on his own earning three Grammys, and an AMA “Artist of the Year Award” among others. Critic Jon Carroll may have said it best when he wrote, “Levon Helm is the only drummer who can make you cry.” We lost Levon Helm far too soon in 2012.