What happens when two genre defying forces of nature come together for a common cause? The answer is that, on 27th October, an incredible collaboration of talent will come to fruition when we see the release of ‘Stand By Me’ on Under The Apple Tree Records. It will be released in aid of something this pandemic can only have made more important. It will raise funds for ‘Help Musicians’, a 99 year old charity, that continues to provide vital support to thousands of music creators during this unprecedented time.
60 years ago to the day, Ben E King changed the world with his incredible hit record ‘Stand By Me’. What he created wasn’t just a hit, it was a recording that has become a standard. The opening notes of ‘Stand By Me’ are unmistakable to fans of music everywhere; it’s a song that has massively stood the test of time. Written by the amazing Leiber & Stoller, writers of some of Elvis’ classic tracks, with the legendary Ben E King, who recorded the track back on the 27th October 1960, it’s a song that has been covered countless times across all of the genres. It’s even been covered by Muhammad Ali back in 1963.
‘Whispering’ Bob Harris is himself something of a standard. Known for being a host of the famous Old Grey Whistle Test after being at Radio Luxembourg and for being one of our most popular and knowledgeable broadcasting icons, Bob has himself defined so many genres and generations of musicians. Whether it’s hosting one of Queen’s first live performances or being the patron of Country music here in the UK, Bob is a national treasure.
It is therefore absolutely fitting that he is at the forefront of a new release of this iconic song, one of his personal favourites. A huge array of artists have joined forces to create ‘Whispering Bob’s All Stars’ to perform the song remotely.
Celebrating 50 years in broadcasting this year, Bob Harris OBE has brought some of his favourite artists together for this milestone event.
“Covid 19 has had a devastating impact on the music scene. The artists who rely on live performances for their income have been particularly hard hit. For the past six years Under The Apple Tree has been a fantastic platform for emerging artists and now, in this time of difficulty, we want to raise funds to help the diverse and dedicated grass roots music community that we love so much” .
James Ainscough, CEO of Help Musicians, says:
“We’re delighted that Bob Harris OBE, a Help Musicians ambassador for many years, has instigated this wonderful project. Music has sustained so many of us during lockdown, yet tens of thousands of musicians have had their income wiped out. It is through fundraisers such as this that the Help Musicians team can continue to provide the broad range of support that is needed now more than ever. Thanks to those generously donating, Help Musicians has been able to offer financial hardship support, creative development opportunities and a vital mental health service which reaches the entire music community during this difficult time. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Bob and the team for their continued support, and to everyone who donates to this unique single.”
Artists ranging from Bryan Adams to Ward Thomas, from Judie Tzuke to The Shires, from Rick Wakeman to Darius Rucker are featured in a huge list encompassing musicians from every era and every genre . The song, it’s ambassador and it’s cause could not be better represented. As a music fan front and foremost and as a thank you to music to being the only antidote we can rely on at the moment I urge you to support this wonderful event.
Full list of musicians at the moment is:
Beth Nielsen Chapman