Legendary drummer/singer/mandolin player from The Band, Levon Helm, is in the final stages of cancer. His family recently posted the following message on his website:

Dear Friends,
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’s former bandmate, Robbie Robertson, sent thoughts and prayers out to him from the stage of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony over the weekend.

Helm was first diagnosed with throat cancer in the late ’90s. He recovered, but for his first few years after that, he played drums in his performances, but didn’t sing. In 2004, he started singing again, albeit with a more hoarse voice. In recent years, Helm’s “Midnight Rambles” at his home in Woodstock, New York, have become a large draw both for music fans and musicians: he’s been joined on stage at his Rambles by Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris and Dr. John, among others.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local

The title of Elton John’s 1971 hit, “Levon“  was named after Levon Helms.  Elton’s son is named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John.

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