The Band was an acclaimed and influential roots rock group. The original group consisted of Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, trombone, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboard instruments, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, baritone saxophone, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals). All five members were notable musicians in their own right.
The members of the Band first came together as they joined rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's backing group, The Hawks, one by one between 1958 and 1963. Upon leaving Hawkins in 1964, they were briefly known as the Levon Helm Sextet with sax player Jerry Penfound being the sixth member, then Levon and the Hawks after Penfound's departure. In 1965, they released a single on Ware Records under the name Canadian Squires, but returned as Levon and the Hawks for a recording session for Atco later in 1965. At about the same time, Bob Dylan recruited Helm and Robertson for two concerts, then the entire group for his U.S. tour in 1965 and world tour in 1966, as well as the informal 1967 recordings that later became The Basement Tapes. Dylan continued to make various appearances