The Band was a Canadian-American rock group, active from 1967 to 1976 and again from 1983 to 1999. It mainly consisted of Robbie Robertson (guitar); Richard Manuel (piano, harmonica, drums, saxophone); Garth Hudson (organ, piano, clavinet, accordion, synthesizer, saxophone); Rick Danko (bass guitar, violin, trombone); and Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, bass guitar).
The members of the Band first worked together as The Hawks, the backing band of rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins from 1959 until 1963; they were also known as Levon and the Hawks. (In about 1966, they released a single on Ware Records under the name the Canadian Squires). Afterwards, Bob Dylan recruited the group for his 1965–1966 world tour. They also joined him on the informal recordings that later became The Basement Tapes.
Dubbed "The Band" by their record company (a name derived from how they were referred to during their tenure with Dylan), the group left Woodstock, New York to begin recording their own material. They recorded two of the most acclaimed albums of the late 1960s; their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the single "The Weight") and 1969's The Band. They broke up in 1976, but reformed in 1983 without founding guitarist Robbie Robertson.
Although the Band was always more popular with music journalists and fellow musicians than with the general public, they have remained an admired and influential group. They have been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked them #50 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.