My Brother’s Keeper – Today In Country Music History [VIDEO]
January 28th, 1985
Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers join 43 other artists to record "We Are The World" under the name USA For Africa at the A&M Studios in Los Angeles. The song topped music charts throughout the world and became the fastest-selling American pop single in history. The first ever single to be certified multi-platinum, "We Are the World" received a Quadruple Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.
However, the song garnered mixed reviews from journalists, music critics, and the public. Fans enjoyed hearing racially and musically diverse recording artists singing together on one track, and felt satisfied in buying "We Are the World", knowing that the money was going to charity. Other individuals, including many commentators in the rock press, were disappointed that the song did not challenge listeners as to why famines occur in the first place, and felt that the lyrics were self-aggrandizing.
Awarded numerous honors—including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and a People's Choice Award—the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters, and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
Following the devastation caused by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, a remake of the song by another all-star cast of singers was recorded on February 1, 2010. Entitled "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", it was released as a single on February 12, 2010, and proceeds from the record aided survivors in the impoverished country. In celebration of the 30th anniversary, the song was again re-recorded in 2014 and released with the proceeds going to Ebola relief in Africa.
Among other contributors are Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Waylon Jennings.
Also on this date in 1985:
Alabama, Kenny Rogers (Male Country Artist and Album) and Anne Murray each win two American Music Awards, while Loretta Lynn takes home a special Award of Merit. Other country winners include: Barbara Mandrell (Country Female Artist), Willy Nelson, Dolly Parton and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Reba McEntire took home two trophies at the American Music Awards. Reba was named Favorite Country Female Performer and her album Reba Live was named Favorite Country Album.
2012 – Eric Church – “Drink In My Hand” (1/1)
2006 – Carrie Underwood – “Jesus Take The Wheel” (2/6)
1995 – Alan Jackson – “Gone Country” (1/1)
1989 – Randy Travis – “Deeper Than The Holler’” (1/1)
1984 – Crystal Gayle – “The Sound of Goodbye” (1/1)
1978 – Loretta Lynn – “Out of My Head And Back In My Bed” (1/2)
1967 – Jack Greene – “There Goes My Everything” (6/7)
1956 – Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteens Tons” (7/10)
1950 – Leon Payne – “I Love You Because” (2/2 non)
2012 – Lady Antebellum – Own The Night
2006 – Carrie Underwood – Some Hearts
1995 – Garth Brooks – The Hits
1989 – Randy Travis – Old 8 x 10
1984 – Kenny Rogers – Eyes That See In The Dark
1978 – Dolly Parton – Here You Come Again
1967 – Eddy Arnold – Somebody Like Me
Session drummer Eddie Bayers is 66
Bassist Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 50.