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Robbie Robertson, guitarist for The Band and Bob Dylan, has died at 80

(Qnnflash) – Robbie Robertson, renowned as the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the iconic Canadian rock group The Band, has passed away at the age of 80.

Confirmation of his passing came from family member Dawn Robertson, as reported by NPR.

Robertson’s songwriting contributions encompassed several pivotal tracks that helped shape the foundation of Americana music. His credits include songs like “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and the thought-provoking “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” which narrates the experiences of Confederate soldiers. Formed as a backing ensemble for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, The Band initially gained fame as Bob Dylan’s supporting act during his 1965 tour. They later gained prominence with classic albums like “Music From Big Pink” (1968) and “The Band” (1969). In collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, Robertson and The Band solidified their legacy with the iconic 1976 guest-star-studded performance, famously known as The Last Waltz, documented in Scorsese’s concert film released in 1978.

Although The Band members reunited on various occasions over the years, Robertson did not rejoin the group. Instead, he ventured into recording music for Scorsese’s film soundtracks, including works like “Raging Bull” and “The Color of Money.” Additionally, he released a number of solo albums, with his most recent, “Sinematic,” dropping in 2019.

Sadly, Robertson is the fourth member of The Band to pass away, following Richard Manuel in 1986, Rick Danko in 1999, and Levon Helm in 2012. Keyboardist and organist Garth Hudson is now the sole surviving member of the group.

Before he became known as Robbie Robertson, he was born Jaime Royal Robertson, with a Mohawk mother and a upbringing on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario. Later in life, he discovered that his biological father, Alexander Klegerman, was a Jewish figure within Toronto’s underworld and gambling scene.

As recounted in the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,” Ronnie Hawkins shared, “Robbie’s real dad was a Hebrew gangster.”

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