Robbie Robertson

Declared a ‘guitar genius’ by Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson – born Jaime Royal Robertson on July 5, 1943, in Toronto, Canada - was one of the men responsible for electrifying folk music in the 1960s and creating some of the era's classic, rootsy, blues rock. Born to a Jewish father and Native American mother, he was taught to play by relatives from a young age and joined local bands Little Caesar and the Consuls and Thumper and the Trambones as a teenager. His break came when he befriended rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins and became lead guitarist in his backing group The Hawks alongside Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel. After splitting from Hawkins, The Hawks backed Dylan on his controversial 1966 ‘Judas’ tour of Europe and played on his legendary album Blonde on Blonde, before finding fame in their own right as The Band. Their brand of country-rock, folk-blues, and Americana produced acclaimed albums Music from Big Pink (1968), The Band (1969) and Rock of Ages (1972) and would later influence artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Wilco, and Eric Clapton. Robbie Robertson left the group after their iconic Last Waltz farewell gig in 1977 and went on to produce albums for Neil Young and soundtracks for Martin Scorsese's films Raging Bull, The Color of Money, and The King of Comedy before releasing his debut solo record Robbie Robertson (1987), which featured Peter Gabriel and U2. He went on to explore his personal history on Music for the Native Americans (1994) and experimented with electronica on Contact from the Underworld of Redboy (1998), before having a resurgence of popularity and reaching number 13 on the US charts with the critically praised How to Become Clairvoyant in 2011. Eight years later, Robbie Robertson released his final studio album, Sinematic (2019), which featured musical assistance from Derek Trucks, Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino, and Citizen Cope. Over the course of his career, he produced and / or recorded with other artists including Neil Diamond, Tom Petty, The Call, Maria McKee, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Roy Orbison, and others. Robbie Robertson also dabbled in films and either appeared in, produced, narrated, or provided music for Eat the Document (1972), Carny (1980), The Crossing Guard (1995), Wolves (1999), Gangs of New York (2002), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Killers of the Flower Moon (2023). Robbie Robertson was honored with many awards during his career including being inducted into the Canadian Juno Hall of Fame (1989), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994), Canada’s Walk of Fame (2003), and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2011). He was given Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Songwriters (1997), the Governor General’s Performing Arts (2006), the Community of Six Nations (2017), and Canadian Music Week (2019). Robbie Robertson died on August 9, 2023, at the age of 80.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Robbie Robertson

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.