Levon and the Hawks, New York, 1964.
From left: Bruce Bruno, Jerry Penfound, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson.
Bruce Bruno originally hooked up with Ronnie Hawkins and the
Hawks in 1960 or 61, when he was recording on Roulette Records and Hawkins
According to Bruno, Hawkins said, "Hey boy, how about coming with me and singing some of those ballads?" So he did.
Later, in 1963, Bruno often was a warm-up act and occasionally, when Hawkins did
not show up for their concerts, lead singer with the Hawks. After the Band's
breakup from Ronnie Hawkins in 1963 and up until the summer of 1964, Bruno
did a few shows as frontman for the group. In that period they performed as
Levon and the Hawks and sometimes under the name the Canadian Squires.
Bruce Bruno had a great singing voice all his life, and kept on performing into the new millenium.
He also teached computer classes at the local New Rochelle High School, and
maintained his friendship with Levon Helm and Ronnie Hawkins. Bruno passed away in February 2020.
Bruce Bruno (center) in New Rochelle, N.Y., April, 2000, with friends
Joe Lore (left) and Richie Giacco.
Photo by Doreen Kelly.
Bruce Bruno, Levon Helm and Bruno's wife B.J., backstage at the Bamboo Room, Lake Worth, FL, before Levon Helm & the Barn Burners' concert on 11.23.2002.