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Robbie Robertson

One of the premier songwriters of the rock era, Robbie Robertson was born July 5, 1943 in Toronto, Ontario. The son of a Jewish father and Mohawk mother, Jaime Robbie Robertson's first brush with live music came at the Six Nations Reservation, his mother's girlhood home; at the age of five, he also gained exposure to the country music of rural America. Not long after, he began taking guitar lessons from a cousin, and gradually began composing his first songs. As time wore on, his musical interests evolved from country to big band to rock, and he eventually dropped out of school to pursue a career as a performer. In 1958, he hooked up with rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins' backing band the Hawks, joining fellow sidemen Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, and Richard Manuel. After remaining with Hawkins through 1963, the Hawks began working on their own; they soon came to the attention of Bob Dylan, and became his support unit on the singer's now-legendary 1965-1966 world tour. Continuing their affiliation with Dylan, the group, renamed simply the Band, went on to become one of rock's seminal acts; propelled by Robertson's acute, evocative examinations of American mythology and lore, they made a series of seminal LPs, including 1968's Music from Big Pink and the following year's self-titled masterpiece. The Band dissolved on Thanksgiving Day 1976 following an all-star concert filmed by director Martin Scorsese and later released as The Last Waltz. The project marked the beginning of Robertson's long affiliation with Scorsese, as well as an interest in dramatic acting; in 1980, Robertson produced and starred in Carny, co-starring Jodie Foster and Gary Busey. Also in 1980, he composed the score to Scorsese's brilliant Raging Bull, and continued to confine his musical activity to the film medium for the next several years, later working with Scorsese on the acerbic 1983 satire The King of Comedy and 1986's The Color of Money, the sequel to The Hustler. Finally, in 1987, Robertson released his self-titled solo debut, which included guest appearances from onetime Band-mates Danko and Hudson as well as U2, Peter Gabriel, Daniel Lanois, and Gil Evans. Storyville, a conceptual piece steeped in the sounds and imagery of a famed area of New Orleans, followed in 1991. In 1994, Robertson returned to his roots, teaming with the Native American group the Red Road Ensemble for Music for the Native Americans, a collection of songs composed for a television documentary series. Contact from the Underworld of Redboy followed in 1998. In 2000, Robertson joined Dreamworks as a creative executive; he signed Nelly Furtado and other artists to the label. In 2002, he performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. He appeared on Jerry Lee Lewis' comeback recording Last Man Standing in 2006, and made an appearance at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007. Robertson also remained close to Scorsese. He composed, consulted on, and produced soundtracks for Casino and The Departed, and acted as executive music director on Gangs of New York. He also contributed original music to Shutter Island. Robertson returned to recording with the album How to Become Clairvoyant on the 429 Records imprint in 2011. The album featured guest appearances by Clapton, Steve Winwood, Trent Reznor, Robert Randolph, Tom Morello, and Angela McCluskey, and entered the Billboard charts at 13. Five years later, Robertson published his memoir Testimony, releasing a career-spanning compilation of the same name to accompany the book. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Stations Featuring
Robbie Robertson

    Jam Bands

    Jam Bands
    2 songs

Albums by
Robbie Robertson

Top Songs by
Robbie Robertson

  1.   Song
  2.   Broken Arrow
  3.   Somewhere Down the Crazy River
  4.   He Don't Live Here Anymore
  5.   Sweet Fire of Love
  6.   Showdown at Big Sky
  7.   Ancestor Song
  8.   Shine Your Light
  9.   Unbound
  10.   A New Kind of Love
  11.   What About Now
  12.   Reflection-Adagio
  13.   Testimony
  14.   Night Parade
  15.   This Is Where I Get Off
  16.   The Right Mistake
  17.   Fear of Falling
  18.   How to Become Clairvoyant
  19.   In the Blood
  20.   Peyote Healing featuring Johnny Mike
  21.   Skinwalker
  22.   It Is a Good Day to Die
  23.   Ghost Dance
  24.   Golden Feather
  25.   Take Your Partner by the Hand by Howie B
  26.   Day of Reckoning (Burnin For You)
  27.   Go Back to Your Woods
  28.   The Lights
  29.   Hold Back the Dawn
  30.   Twilight by The Band
  31.   Storyville
  32.   Won't Be Back
  33.   When the Night Was Young
  34.   At Last
  35.   The Far, Lonely Cry of Trains
  36.   Stomp Dance (Unity) by Six Nations Women Singers
  37.   Sacrifice by Leonard Peltier
  38.   Making a Noise
  39.   The Code of Handsome Lake
  40.   Akua Tuta
  41.   The Vanishing Breed
  42.   Mahk Jchi (Heartbeat Drum Song)
  43.   Resurrection
  44.   Breakin' the Rules
  45.   Cherokee Morning Song
  46.   Fallen Angel
  47.   She's Not Mine
  48.   Webster Hall
  49.   Christmas Must Be Tonight by Danny Elfman
  50.   Twisted Hair
  51.   Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight
  52.   Hell's Half Acre
  53.   American Roulette
  54.   Sign of the Rainbow
  55.   Straight Down the Line
  56.   Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood
  57.   Coyote Dance
  58.   Houdini
  59.   Shake This Town
  60.   Tango for Django
  61.   The Sound Is Fading by Leah Hicks-Manning
  62.   Rattlebone
  63.   Going to the River by Galactic
  64.   Axman
  65.   Madame X
  66.   Sign of the Rainbow featuring Martin Page

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