I play patterns. I’ll make up a pattern and just play it.
“Well, let’s see: I started [in music] at nine and quit. Then got back to it when I was twelve. Then I became a party star. In fact, I became a party!”
For me he was the true light of the Band. The other guys were fantastic talents, of course, but there was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw. When he sang in that high falsetto the hair on my neck would stand on end. Not many people can do that.
A nice tribute video – I’m just a country boy:
I Shall Be Released (The Band)
Gonna dedicate this song to Mr. Richard Manuel, who does it so well
~Bob Dylan (Introducing “I Shall Be Released” December 8, 1975)
Richard George Manuel
April 3, 1943
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
March 4, 1986 (aged 42)
Winter Park, Florida, U.S.
Richard George Manuel (April 3, 1943 – March 4, 1986) was a Canadian composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his contributions to and membership in The Band.
Here is the wonderful “Georgia On My Mind” from The Last Waltz concert:
“Richard Manuel was a whole show unto himself. He was hot. He was about the best singer I’d ever heard; most people said he reminded them of Ray Charles. He’d do those ballads, and the ladies would swoon. To me that became the highlight of our show.”
The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group that originally consisted of Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, trombone, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboard instruments, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, baritone saxophone, vocals) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals). 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.
You Dont Know Me – Tokyo 1983
“He brought a lot of powers and strengths to the group. He brought in gospel music from his church upbringing. Plus, he loved to play and just come up with new things. It was like having a force of nature in the band.”
In 1994, Richard Manuel was inducted, posthumously, into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Band.
In 2003, Japan’s Dreamsville Records released Whispering Pines: Live at the Getaway, which contains selections from a solo concert recorded in Saugerties, New York in October 1985.
Former bandmate Robbie Robertson‘s song “Fallen Angel” (1987) and The Band‘s song “Too Soon Gone” (1993) are each tributes to Manuel.
On Forbes.com, Allen St. John wrote a tribute article about Richard Manuel and Rick Danko on April 19, 2012.
Eric Clapton’s 1986 album, August, features his tribute to Richard Manuel entitled “Holy Mother”.
San Francisco-area group, The Call, who had collaborated with former Band members Hudson and Robertson, dedicated the video for their 1986 single, “Everywhere I Go” to Manuel.
Counting Crows recorded the song “If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead”, released on their 2002 album Hard Candy.
The Drive-By Truckers’ song “Danko/Manuel” was released on their album The Dirty South in 2004.
A wonderful version of Tears of Rage (Dylan/the Band) from earlier this month at The Beacon Theater.
The song was first recorded in rehearsal sessions at The Band’s upstate New York residence, “Big Pink”, in 1967, with Dylan on lead vocal and The Band backing him. This recording and those from the rest of the sessions would not be officially released for another eight years, on the 1975 album, The Basement Tapes, although they were widely bootlegged in the late 1960s and early ’70s. It is considered one of the most widely acclaimed from The Basement Tapes.
The first official release of the song was as the first track on The Band’s debut, 1968 album Music from Big Pink, without Dylan and featuring Manuel on lead vocal. According to Levon Helm, “Richard sang one of the best performances of his life.”
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1. Visions Of Johanna
2. Like A Rolling Stone
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Ballad Of A Thin Man
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. Blind Willie McTell (electric version)
7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
8. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
9. Desolation Row
10. Idiot Wind (New York version)