The Last Waltz: I Shall Be Released

The Band celebrates the end of their days on tour on November 25, 1976 34 years ago and the singers singing I Shall Be Released is comprised of some of the greatest singers of the era with there being too many greats to mention them all by name.

Their final concert came seven years after Woodstock and four years before the MTV era started in 1980’s. It may be the only time I have seen a concert that featured a tuba player.


My favorite song was Ophelia being sung by Levon Helm in 1976.

The best version of You Don’t Know Me this side of Ray Charles sung by the late Richard Manuel former pianist for The Band in this Tokyo concert in 1983.

Manuel was an alcoholic and drug addict but for a time had given up the addictions but later he had a relapse and started back on the road to cocaine and alcohol and he had taken both shortly before hanging himself on March 4, 1986 in a Quality Inn motel in Winter Park, Florida.

Anyone wondering what it was like in San Francisco in 1976 should see The Last Waltz which was one of the best movies ever made about that era.


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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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