are we the world?

usa_for_africa

It was 1985 and I was working at WVUD in Dayton.

The previous Christmas, musical artists in the UK under the leadership of (now) Sir Bob Geldof had recorded the incredibly impactful song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The song included a collection of the day’s top artists who donated their time and talent to raise money for the famine in Africa.

It was a singularly amazing combination of musical artistry, song writing and performance.

In January of 1985, at the end of the American Music Awards, scores of artists commuted from the award show to the A&M Studios to record the Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie penned “We Are The World“. It too was singularly amazing.

My recollection of the song is so fresh because as production manager at WVUD, I was tasked with recording the song off of our satellite upon its release and our station debut it in our market. Downloading a song off satellite was hardly an everyday occurrence in 1985. We usually waited for the records to arrive like every other radio station.

On Good Friday, April 5, 1985, at 12 o’clock noon on WVUD and over 8,000 U.S. radio stations, regardless of their format, played “We Are The World” at the same time. For those seven minutes you literally could tune in almost any radio station and hear the same song. It was a shining moment for radio.

There were concerts and fund rasiers and on Good Friday, 2008 – 23 years later, still more famine.

Can’t we use the millions of dollars paid to Paris Hilton to have a TV Show camera follow her around to buy grain for entire regions of starving people? Are our priorities still that askew?

Let’s not forget the hungry while we enjoy our Easter celebrations. We may not think so but someday it really could be us.

We Are The World – Part 1

We Are The World – Part 2

We Are The World – Part 3

We Are The World – Part 4

We Are The World – Part 5

We Are The World – Part 6

We Are The World – Part 7

We Are The World – Part 8

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