Legendary songwriter, guitarist and producer Robbie Robertson will be honored this Wednesday at EMP’s 2008 Founders Award Celebration.
The award will recognize Robertson’s artistic achievements that have shaped the landscape of popular music and influenced artists across musical genres. In 1958, Robertson joined rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkin’s band The Hawks. In 1963, The Hawks began working on their own, soon backing Bob Dylan and releasing a series of seminal roots rock records as the Band, including 1968’s Music From Big Pink.
Film director Martin Scorsese documented The Band’s all-star swan song performance, which became The Last Waltz. Since The Band disbanded, Robertson has acted, composed film scores for movies like Raging Bull and The King of Comedy, produced albums, worked with U2, Peter Gabriel, and Daniel Lanois, and released solo works.
Wednesday’s Founders Award presentation will also include a tribute concert featuring The Long Winters, Fielder/McKeag, The Moondoggies, and Sean Nelson. There’s a limited number of tickets available with proceeds benefiting EMP|SFM’s youth-based education programs.
This week on the Afternoon Show, Kevin Cole will be featuring some of Robbie’s songs on the afternoon show over the next couple of days. Many of the Band’s great songs, like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” were written by Robertson, although he didn’t sing the lead vocal. Here’s vintage 1970 footage of “Up On Cripple Creek” with Levon Helm on lead vocal and Robbie sporting the Telecaster.