|Jump to full article: New York Times, 2012-04-19|
Author: JON PARELES
Levon Helm, who helped forge a deep-rooted American music as the drummer and singer for the Band, , died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 71 and lived in Woodstock, N.Y.
His death, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, was from complications of cancer, said a spokeswoman for Vanguard Records, for which he had recorded several albums.
. . .
Mr. Helm, a heavy smoker, contracted throat cancer in the late 1990s, and for months he could not speak above a whisper. A tumor was removed from his vocal cords, and he underwent 28 radiation treatments. Medical bills threatened him with the loss of his home. Partly to raise money, in 2004 he began putting on concerts, called Midnight Rambles, at his barn: leisurely house parties with unannounced guest stars, featuring a band of his own that delved into old and new Americana as well as the Band catalog.
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