“We Are The World” Peace Love & Rock and Roll

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Today watching the endless music and videos that I do I saw We Are The World by USA For Africa. For those of you too young to know, the original USA For Africa recorded the song We Are The World with a huge variety of celebrity singers. The song was written by Lionel Richie and the late Michael Jackson. It was produced by the Motown and Grammy winner Quincy Jones and Grammy winner Michael Omartian AND became a 4x Platinum record (Are they still measured by records or CDS? Releases? I don’t know anymore. Anyway…)

What is amazing about this song and group is a huge turnout of 45 artists that put their egos aside and joined forces to create this masterpiece. Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, The Jackson 5, Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, and many others. Today I spent the better part of my day trying to remember Ray Charles’ name. I was having a significant senior moment, who can forget such great Ray Charles? Thankfully, when I sat down to write this it just popped into my head.

What I really think is important is the diversity of artists that worked together, R&B, Country, and good old Rock N Roll. The musical backgrounds varied but their hearts were all one putting this together and helping to relieve the famine in Africa. There are so many famous and influential artists that participated and it’s amazing that they started recording on January 22, 1985 and finished on January 28th, 1985 (Happy 15th Bday to me!), and was in the stores on March 7th, 1985.

Think about this. How could it be done that everyone pushed away their pride and compiled one of the greatest songs in history? One that benefited so many. In April, Good Friday in 1985 “We Are the World” was played at 10:25 am on over 8000 radio stations simultaneously. I was 15 and remember this. My brother and I squished up to our boombox to hear. No matter what Northern Michigan station we turned the radio to We Are The World was playing.

This story is well known but should be told over and over because it’s something for everyone to be proud of most especially the writers, producers, and artists. This is a story of success of not one but many. It should be noted that USA For Africa was formed after the UK’s release of Band Aid’s – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time. Both of these songs bring tears to my eyes because I remember the reason behind the song and the good that came from so many to produce it.

USA For Africa set a goal to make $50 million dollars and exceeded it by making over $51.2 million. I believe in causes and working towards different ones but this one where everyone worked together and produced a record in a mear 3 months that helped so many people. You cannot donate to every charity but putting your heart behind one or two can make a great difference in many lives.

One of my favorite Christmas songs that is blasted here every year is Do They Know it’s Christmas Time. It reminds me of the thought behind Christmas and how important family is and most of all how lucky we are here in the USA.


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