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Bell, Richard (5th March 1946-15th June 2007)

He was a multi-instrumentalist, backing vocalist and producer born in Toronto, Canada, who has been heard as a session musician playing keyboards, saxophone, organ, trombone, accordion and piano with countless groups and artists in all genres of music.

Beginning his career in music in the 1960s he was a member of several bands and after moving to New York in the 1970s he appeared in the line-ups of The Blue Aeroplanes, Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band and Burrito Deluxe and from the late 1980s he was a member of The Band as their keyboardist until they disbanded in 1999. This saw him appearing on the two No. 1 chart singles “Me & Bobby McGee” and “Welcome Back”.

The many other artists he has performed with include Bruce Cockburn, Judy Collins, Cowboy Junkies, Bob Dylan , Peter Emmett, The Fabulous Rhinestones, Levon Helm, Bonnie Raitt, John Sebastian and many more.

The numerous albums he featured on during the course of his career include Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation by The Band, Whales & Nightingales and Forever: An Anthology by Judy Collins, 30th Anniversary Concert by Bob Dylan , Fresh by The Four Freshmen, Souvenir Vol. 1 by Levon Helm & Crowmatix, X Factor by Iron Maiden, Pearl and Anthology by Janis Joplin, Heart Break by New Edition, Spyro Gyra, Some People by Belouis Some , Robocop: The Series Soundtrack by Joe Walsh among many others.

He passed away while suffering from cancer in hospital in Toronto in 2007 when he was 61 years old.

Here is a tribute to Richard….