It was arguably the greatest gathering of musical talent in one place at one time — and still is. And it was INSANE. “We Are The World” brought the biggest American music stars of the 1980s* — and Dan Akroyd! — to one room to record a song shining a light on the plight of starving people in Africa. The song and the video was beamed incessently to the living rooms and kitchens of America. In the end, the song was inescapable at the time (if somewhat forgettable now); it raised some $68 million to help those impacted by drought and food shortages. But it also gave us a treasure trove of quirky, ridiculous stories that can only happen when you pack creative geniuses into one room — and ask them to follow orders.
*But not Prince or Madonna.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream We Are The World by U.S.A. For Africa online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon. 

 

It’s the classic “full creative control” story. Artist earns the respect (and the right) to do things as he wants. He goes against the grain to bring his vision to light. But upon hearing the final product, the record executives can’t believe it’s actually final. Sorry, bub. Creative control means creative control. And in this case, Willie Nelson’s 1975 album, “Red-Headed Stranger,” not only proved to be one of the most successful country albums of all time, but also one of the most successful — and celebrated — ALBUMS of all time. It’s a sparsely-produced, under-budget, concept album about a preacher that essentially goes on a killing spree. And it changed country music forever.

References in this Epipod:

You can buy or stream Red-Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson online at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon.