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Levon Helm, 1940-2012

David Hepworth, The Word, June 2012

'THE NIGHT THEY drove old Dixie down' is the perfect emblem for the life and career of Levon Helm. This one song, written by Robbie Robertson for The Band's second album in 1969, is the pinnacle of that group's considerable achievement. Since it concerned the crushing of the old South at the end of the American Civil War, it was also a song that only Helm, the one American in a group of Canadians, the one Southerner in a band of Northerners, could sing. He sung it brilliantly, not just brilliantly for a drummer.

Total word count of piece: 1411


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