Rick Danko

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Rick Danko 1979

Rick Danko (born December 29, 1943 in Simcoe , Ontario , † December 10, 1999 in Marbletown , New York ) was a Canadian musician. He became known as the singer and bass player for The Band .


At the age of 17, Danko joined Ronnie Hawkins ' rockabilly group The Hawks . Originally a rhythm guitarist, he soon switched to bass. Bob Dylan discovered the Hawks in the mid-1960s and hired them for his 1965/66 world tour. Now renamed The Band , Danko, drummer Levon Helm , guitarist Robbie Robertson , keyboardist Richard Manuel and saxophonist and keyboardist Garth Hudson shaped Dylan's folk-rock phase in the mid-1960s. The Band's first LP, Music from Big Pink, named after the pink-colored house that Dylan rented in West Saugerties, was released in 1968. The album is considered groundbreaking because it was the first to mix Dylan's folk rock with a wide range of American musical styles such as bluegrass and country. Danko plays the violin on the album in addition to the bass. In November 1976 The Band gave their last concert, documented in Martin Scorsese's film The Band - The Last Waltz (1978). One of the reasons the band broke up was Danko's and Manuel's drug addiction. In 1989, Danko was a guest musician on the Del Fuegos' last release, Smoking In The Fields . There he sang the harmony vocals on Stand By You .

Solo career

Danko's first solo album was released in 1978. In 1983 The Band reformed, but without Robertson. Danko partly took over the acoustic guitar. Together with the "band" members Levon Helm and Garth Hudson, Danko performed at Roger Waters The Wall concert in Berlin. In October 1992 Danko and The Band (excluding Robertson) played on the occasion of Bob Dylan's 30th stage anniversary in Madison Square Garden in New York. After The Band was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1989, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. There followed again joint recordings in 1993, 1996 and 1998. Rick Danko gave his last concert on December 7, 1999 in the university town of Ann Arbor in Michigan . Three days later he died of heart failure in his adopted home of Woodstock at the age of 56.

In 1991 the folk singer Eric Andersen recorded the album Danko / Fjeld / Andersen with Rick Danko and the Norwegian folk singer Jonas Fjeld , which received the Spelleman´s Pris in 1992, the Norwegian counterpart to the American Grammys. The trio also brought out Ridin 'On The Blinds in 1993 .


Singer David Munyon recorded a CD in honor of Rick Danko in London's Abbey Road Studios in July 2006. The CD entitled "Song for Danko" was released in August 2006.


  • 1977: Rick Danko
  • 1991: Danko / Fjeld / Andersen (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen)
  • 1994: Ridin 'on the Blinds (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen)
  • 1997: Rick Danko in Concert
  • 1999: Live on Breeze Hill

Published posthumously

  • 2000: Times Like These
  • 2002: One More Shot (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen)
  • 2005: Cryin 'Heart Blues
  • 2016: Live From the Blue Note, Boulder Co., 1979 (with Paul Butterfield)

Web links

Commons : Rick Danko  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Rick Danko | Biography & History. Retrieved January 10, 2020 (American English).
  2. Carol Caffin: A Chat with Terry Danko. Retrieved January 10, 2020 .
  3. Biography of the band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame