Friday, October 27, 2017

1985 Video Of "We Are The World" & Two American Sign Language Videos Of "We Are The World"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about the 1985 song "We Are The World" and showcases two American Sign Language (ASL) videos of that song.

The content of this post is presented for inspirational, educational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers of this song, thanks to the original participants in this video, and thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos.

From 'We Are the World' at 30: 12 tales you might not know

Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY Published 5:54 p.m. ET Jan. 27, 2015 | Updated 10:11 a.m. ET Jan. 28, 2015

"The all-star recording session for We Are the World, the biggest charity single of all time, took place 30 years ago Wednesday.

On Jan. 28, 1985, at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, following the American Music Awards, more than 40 artists gathered to record a song Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson had written to raise awareness of widespread, life-threatening poverty in Africa. Most of that show's winners — including Cyndi Lauper, Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Huey Lewis, Willie Nelson, Tina Turner, the Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers and the Jacksons — participated.

Inspired by the U.K. all-star charity single Do They Know it's Christmas?, released a few months earlier, We Are the World was released March 7, 1985, and went on to sell more than 20 million copies. The more than $75 million raised by non-profit organization USA for Africa helped to fight poverty on the continent. The song also won three Grammy Awards in 1986, including song and record of the year.

"A great song lasts for eternity," says Quincy Jones, who produced the track. "I guarantee you that if you travel anywhere on the planet today and start humming the first few bars of that tune, people will immediately know that song."


The participants autographed the first page of the sheet music for the song 'We Are the World,' written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The song was designed to raise awareness and funds for a worldwide hunger relief program, and its international success led the way for the Live Aid concerts later that year. (Photo: Hulton Archive, Getty Images)
Kenny Rogers wanted to get everybody's autograph.

"Once we sang it all the way through and realized how well-thought-out it was, we realized it was something special," Rogers says. "So I took a sheet of music from the session and started getting people to sign it. Once I started, Diana Ross started, then everybody was running around trying to get everybody. It's framed on the wall of my house in Atlanta." Oates, who also got an autographed chart, echoes Rogers almost word for word: "I have it framed in my studio in Colorado. When people come in and see it, they freak. I made sure I got everybody. I even got Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to sign it. For once, I had the presence of mind to do something like that, and it's one of my most treasured possessions." Jones' signed sheet music hangs in his den: "It always makes me smile when I look at it and start reading those names."


USA for Africa is still around.

Thirty years after We Are the World, USA for Africa still works on behalf of communities in Africa. Recent initiatives have addressed climate-change issues, arts campaigns and the shipment of medical supplies to Liberia and Sierra Leone to combat the spread of ebola. Royalties from We Are the World continue to be the organization's primary source of funding. "We still earn, but certainly not the kind of money we earned 25 years ago," says executive director Marcia Thomas, who joined the non-profit in 1986 to work on Hands Across America, another USA for Africa initiative. "Our biggest support in terms of where We Are the World is bought most frequently is not in the U.S. but other parts of the world, primarily Japan and Asia."

We Are the World soloists, in order of appearance:

Lionel Richie
Stevie Wonder
Paul Simon
Kenny Rogers
James Ingram
Tina Turner
Billy Joel
Michael Jackson
Diana Ross
Dionne Warwick
Willie Nelson
Al Jarreau
Bruce Springsteen
Kenny Loggins
Steve Perry
Daryl Hall
Huey Lewis
Cyndi Lauper
Kim Carnes
Bob Dylan
Ray Charles

These people sang in the chorus: Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Jackie Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, Anita Pointer, June Pointer, Ruth Pointer and Smokey Robinson.

"One of the only things regrettable about this whole 30-year anniversary is that Michael's not here to share his part of it," Richie says. "There was a lot of craziness happening with us and a lot of silliness. I'm just sorry he's not here to share it."


These videos are given in chronological order based on their publishing date with the oldest dated video given first.

Example #1: We Are The World by Michael Jackson in ASL (American Sign Language)

TheSalmaWay, Published on Apr 19, 2016

This is an interpretation of the song We Are The World by Michael Jackson in ASL (American Sign Language).

Example #2: ASL Interpretation We are the world

Amber Galloway Gallego, Published on Apr 30, 2017

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