As one of the members of the legendary Canadian group the Band, Rick Danko had attained rock royalty status among critics and rock fans alike by the mid-1970s. He was one of the Band's three main singers, having been featured on several of that group's key songs - including the closer for this set, "This Wheel's On Fire," which he co-wrote with Bob Dylan.
By 1980, Danko was without a record deal and, although he continued to tour as a solo act (and with performers such as Paul Butterfield and Jorma Kaukonen), he would eventually rejoin the Band for three more albums and tours without cornerstone member Robbie Robertson. Sadly, Danko died in December of 1999 from a heart attack many feel was brought on by years of drug and alcohol abuse. He was 56 years old.
Though the artist himself has gone, the music that Danko created - both with the Band and, to a lesser extent, through his solo efforts - will continue bearing forth his memory. His legacy and place have been assured.