Anna Lee Amsden is immortalized in The Band's anthem, "The Weight," on their first album, Music From Big Pink.
Go down, Miss Moses,
there's nothin' you can say
It's just ol' Luke,
and Luke's waitin' on the Judgement Day.
"Well, Luke, my friend,
what about young Anna Lee?"
He said, "Do me a favor, son,
won’t you stay and keep Anna Lee company?"
Anna Lee Williams Amsden was born and raised in the Delta in Turkey Scratch near Marvell, Phillips County, Arkansas. A childhood neighbor and close, life-long friend of Levon Helm, she and Helm have crossed paths with the Pryor Center a number of times. In October 2005 Amsden was interviewed in Little Rock before Helm's performance with the Midnight Ramble Band. She also participated in a panel discussion in Fayetteville following an August 2013 screening of the documentary, Ain’t In It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm.
Amsden was interviewed again at the King Blues Biscuit Festival in October 2015. This time she shared her memories of Levon’s last evening before his passing, and her relationships with and love for the Helm family and the musicians surrounding Levon’s music. In 2008 Amsden published the cookbook, Anna Lee's Favorite Recipes.