Local Musician Shares Memories of Levon Helm

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The southern drawl in a mostly Canadian band set Levon Helm aside from any other in rock music.

“He just had a unique style I don’t know of anybody that sounded like him, it’s real distinctive,” says Earl Cate.

World famous singer and drummer, Levon Helm died Thursday from throat cancer.

Helm sang lead on many of The Band's biggest hits: "The Weight," "Up on Cripple Creek," and "The Night they Drove old Dixie Down."

Earl Cate met Levon back in the early 60’s in Northwest Arkansas, when earl was in a band called “The Cate Brothers.” From that point on it was history, traveling the world doing what they do best

“My brother and I went with him in 1978 to Japan with the RCLO All-Stars, it was actually Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dun, Saturday Night Live,” adds Cate.

Cate still performs in the area playing the guitar but,  says he owes his career to Levon.

“He probably influenced more musicians than anyone, especially us but there isn’t a musician that heard of Levon.”

And says people came from all over to see Levon perform

“We would be playing in California or New York, of all the people that showed up like Bob Dylan might show up when he didn’t know he was coming and Van Morrison, you name it,” adds Cate.

Helm died in New York City at 71-years-old.

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