Friday, May 30, 2008

Digging In The Magazine Box: Seattle Helps The Hungry

There was a time in our history when efforts like this weren't considered corny or an opportunity to boost someone's failing career. This is a brief article showing the making of "Give Just A Little", Seattle's answer to the Band Aid/USA For Africa relief effort. Most of you will no doubt remember the songs "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "We Are The World", but what some may not know (or remember) was that it moved many local and regional music scenes to create their own benefit record to help raise money for food relief in Ethiopia and other African countries. The We Are The World compilation album on Columbia featured Canada's contribution, and there was also Hawai'i For Africa's "The Way Of Love".

When I bought my copy of the Seattle Helps The Hungry 45 at the U-District Tower in Seattle, I clearly remember a number of other benefit 45's, including one from Los Angeles featuring a number of Mexican singers and entertainers, and I want to say that Cheech Marin was on it. I don't have an MP3 of the song with me, but the song was very much in the vein of "We Are The World" in that each singer contributed a line or two and it lead to a chorus by everyone in the group. In this case, there were two versions because of the amount of singers who wanted to help out.

The record also represents what the Seattle music scene was circa 1985, and yet this doesn't even begin to truly represent the diversity Seattle's scene had to offer. Had this record been released five years later, the lineup would have been very different. No Kurdt Vanderhoof here, but you did have Uncle Bansai, Jr. Cadillac, Mondo Vita, and (yes) Rail, all of whom were staples of Seattle's live scene in the early to mid-80's. Even Cindi Reinhart was on the record.

The following scan is taken from The Rocket.

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