Legendary Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of The Band, Dead at 71

Legendary Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of The Band, Dead at 71

Levon Helm, legendary singer and drummer for the acclaimed and influential rock group The Band, died on Thursday, April 19th in New York City of throat cancer. He was 71. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends and bandmates. A very sad note signed by his daughter and wife had appeared Tuesday on the official website for multiple Grammy winner Levon Helm:  “Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” said the note. “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.”

Levon Helm had reached the final stages of his battle with cancer, which was first diagnosed in the late 1990s. He recovered, but it took him many years to recover his singing voice. At last Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, former Band guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson told the audience, “We all need to send out love and prayers to my Band mate Levon Helm.”

Mr. Helm, a native of Arkansas whose father was a cotton farmer, was an important member of The Band, lending his steady beat and weathered voice to the group’s signature hit songs, such as: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight, Rag Mama Rag and Daniel and the Sacred Harp. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Read more about Levon Helm’s death in Rolling Stone here and in the New York Times here.

Listen to Levon Helm’s Finest Moments: From The Weight to Atlantic City. Eighteen tracks from The Band co-founder’s incredible career: The Rolling Stone Playlist

View the Slide Show: Levon Helm Through the Years here.

View another Slide Show: Levon Helm’s Musical Journey here.

Levon Helm and The Band: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (1969)

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Levon Helm and The Band: The Weight (Woodstock 1969)

(Best Viewed in HD-Mode}

The Band with The Staple Singers: The Weight (From “The Last Waltz” 1978)

Levon Helm’s Life After Cancer

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A Tribute: For Levon Helm, With Prayers and Love

A Tribute: For Levon Helm, With Prayers and Love

A very sad note signed by his daughter and wife appeared yesterday on the official website for multiple Grammy winner Levon Helm, the drummer-singer of the acclaimed and influential rock group, the Band. “Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” says the note. “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.”

Levon Helm, the drummer and singer with the Band, has reached the final stages of his battle with cancer, which was first diagnosed in the late 1990s. He recovered, but it took him many years to recover his singing voice. At Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, former Band guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson told the audience, “We all need to send out love and prayers to my Band mate Levon Helm.”

Mr. Helm, a native of Arkansas whose father was a cotton farmer, was an important member of the Band, lending his steady beat and weathered voice to the group’s signature hit songs, such as: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight, Rag Mama Rag and Daniel and the Sacred Harp. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Update: Levon Helm, legendary singer and drummer for the Band, died on Thursday, April 19th in New York of throat cancer. He was 71. Read more here.

Listen to Levon Helm’s Finest Moments: From The Weight to Atlantic City. Eighteen tracks from the Band co-founder’s incredible career: The Rolling Stone Playlist

View the Slide Show: Levon Helm Through the Years here.

View another Slide Show: Levon Helm’s Musical Journey here.

Levon Helm and The Band: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (1969)

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Levon Helm and The Band: The Weight (Woodstock 1969)

(Best Viewed in HD-Mode]

Levon Helm’s Life After Cancer

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Maggie Daley, Chicago’s Gracious First Lady, Dies at 68

Maggie Daley, Chicago’s Gracious First Lady, Dies at 68

Maggie Daley, who dedicated herself to children’s issues and the arts, while also zealously guarding her family’s privacy during 22 years as Chicago’s First Lady, died tonight, more than nine years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 68.

Since disclosing her diagnosis in 2002, for the subsequent nine painstaking years she soothed us with her grace under pressure as a public person making innumerable appearances before crowds and cameras.The news of the death of Maggie Daley sparked memories from many who knew her and saw her handle the role of Chicago’s first lady with such warmth and grace.

Tonight we grieve for the Daley family,” the current Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Chicago has lost a warm and gracious First Lady who contributed immeasurably to our city. While Mayor Daley served as the head of this city, Maggie was its heart.” Emanuel said her “most treasured role was as a wife, mother, and grandmother.”

Our hearts go out to Mayor Daley, Nora, Patrick, Lally and the rest of the Daley family,” Emanuel said. “Just as Maggie will remain a constant presence in their lives, she will remain a constant presence in our city.  Like Chicagoans everywhere, Amy and I will always hold her in our hearts.Whether you knew her personally or were among the countless more who loved and admired her, all of Chicago will remember Maggie for the grace and dignity with which she served for twenty-two years as First Lady.”

The former first lady proved resilient in the face of the disease, and her friends and admirers noted her ability to rise above her illness. “In the city of big shoulders, her grace and charm made our town a very classy place,” said Father John Cusick, a good friend and priest at their Old St. Patrick’s Church. “I really feel for Rich. He will miss her so much. Being a public family, they were able to be a private family, too. What a great person. May she have eternal rest.”

A Tribute to Maggie Daley (1943-2011)

Statement by President Obama on the Passing of Maggie Daley here.

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A Celebration of Steve’s Life

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

Apple has posted this video of the tribute to Steven P. Jobs, which took place last week at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California. The event, A Celebration of Steve’s Life, was held to commemorate Mr. Jobs, who died this month after battling pancreatic cancer.

The video begins with Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, introducing Mr. Jobs’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Mr. Cook shared thoughts of Mr. Jobs’s work at Apple over the years and noted that no one in attendance would be working at Apple if it wasn’t for Mr. Jobs. “There is one more thing he leaves us; he leaves us with each other,” Mr. Cook said. “Other than his family, Apple would be his finest creation.” Mr. Cook also said the last piece of advice Mr. Jobs gave him was “to never ask what he would do; just do what’s right.

Following Mr. Cook’s speech, Al Gore, the former Vice President and an Apple board member, spoke. Some of Mr. Jobs’s favorite musicians played at the event. Norah Jones sang the Bob Dylan song Forever Young. The British band Coldplay performed Fix You and Yellow, while thousands of Apple employees listened and helped celebrate the co-founder’s life.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

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Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder and visionary, who helped usher in the era of personal computers and led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday at the age of 56. Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with cancer, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. After leaving, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company in August. “Unfortunately, that day has come.” By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and a wide range of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet.

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

1984 Apple Macintosh Super Bowl Commercial

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Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

Wish 143 is an acclaimed, quietly bittersweet short film directed by British filmmaker Ian Barnes, which is a 2011 Oscar Nominee for Best Live-Action Short Film. The film presents the touching emotional drama of a fifteen-year-old boy with only months to live, who is granted one final wish from the Dreamscape Charity. But David doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or meet Gary Neville; what he really wants is an hour alone with a naked woman. The air of impending mortality hangs over this gentle, wry tale, which in the end has little to do with sex and everything to do with the human need to find connection.

Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

(Please Click Image to View Wish 143)

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Monument: An Urban Tale of Courage

Monument: An Urban Tale of Courage

Monument is a three-minute short film created by the English filmmaker, Robin Schmidt.  The film was made as part of the competition in support of the Fireflies Charity, which recognizes relatives and friends’ battles with cancer.  This year they asked for entries for a film challenge to create a three minute film about courage.  Monument is  kind of an urban fairytale about an aged Rastafarian in a wheelchair, who relives a knife attack and decides to rid the community of its knife problem once and for all by magnetizing his body.

The film was a finalist in the Fireflies competition earlier this year, and won the Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge.

Monument: An Urban Tale of Courage

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