Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP, Dick Clark & Levon Helm.

I do hope that every fourth post in here doesn't turn out to be a memorial to another music industry legend. But this one is about two of them. Yesterday we heard the news about the death of America's Oldest Teenager. For some, Dick Clark will be remembered as the face of New Year's Rockin' Eve, and for others he'll be remembered as a significant powerhouse behind the scenes, a long-time executive producer in music and broadcasting. But I will always remember Dick Clark for the years he spent in front of a television camera, hosting American Bandstand. In doing so, he helped this country's general public accept (and even come to appreciate) rock 'n' roll, and for that he deserves a great big thank you.

The Band played a number of songs that contributed to the soundtrack of my young life, and in my heart there will always be a special place for those guys. In addition to being a terrific drummer, Levon Helm's voice gave an honest and distinctive character to a number of their songs, and I was a fan from the first time I heard The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Another favorite of mine featuring Levon's pipes was Ophelia from Northern Lights, Southern Cross. He went through a lot, physically and emotionally over these last several years, and now he can rest. And we can be thankful we're still able to hear him sing and lay down the backbeat on all those wonderful recordings.