The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group formed in Toronto, Ontario in 1968 by Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboards, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals). The members of The Band first came together as rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's backing group, the Hawks, which they joined one by one between 1958 and 1963. In 1964, they separated from Hawkins, after which they toured and released a few singles as Levon and the Hawks and the Canadian Squires. The next year, Bob Dylan hired them for his U.S. tour in 1965 and world tour in 1966.
The original configuration of The Band ended its touring career in 1976. The Band resumed touring in 1983 without guitarist Robertson, who had found success with a solo career and as a Hollywood music producer. Following a 1986 show, Manuel committed suicide. The remaining three members continued to tour and record albums with a succession of musicians. Danko died of heart failure in 1999, after which the group broke up permanently.