I’ve been googling Levon Helm‘s name since Tuesday for any updates on Levon’s condition after seeing the news that he’s in his “final stages” in a battle against cancer.

Levon Helm - Newport Folk Festival
Levon Helm - Newport Folk Festival (Photo credit: wfuv)

One of the stories that I saw, from the CBS News website, said that his family has been reading fan dedications to him from all over the world after they announced the news yesterday.

It’d be cool if Levon were able to hear about this personal “thank you” from me to him as well.

UPDATE:  Levon died Thursday afternoon at 1:30 after his long fight with throat cancer.  Click here for a report from Rolling Stone.

Levon’s always struck me in the times that I’ve watched him on television through the years as just a very salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, the kind of person I appreciate the most.

Despite all the great music he did as the drummer and vocalist with The Band and elsewhere, there’s been one thing that he’s done that’s stuck with me the most through the years, and that was his role as Loretta Lynn‘s father in the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

I come from that kind of stock myself.  My father was a miner, born and raised in Kentucky and Tennessee.  His father was a miner before him.  I know the looks on the people’s faces, the sounds of their voices, and the looks of the homes in that part of the world, from when I visited long-lost relatives in Tennessee as a child, along with my mother and older sister, in 1968 — and from the time that Levon portrayed Loretta’s father.

Levon had “that look.”  He had “those mannerisms.”  He had “that voice.”  I will never forget that.  It was like being transported back there myself, to a part of my own roots.

I even loved the sound of his voice from “The Right Stuff.”

Thank you, Levon.  Bless you, sir.

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3 thoughts on “My music playlist for today (April 19, 2012 edition)

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