March 7, 2018
1985 – The song “We Are the World” receives its international release. The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help. Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.
This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?.” Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.
This was recorded at A&M Studios in Los Angeles on January 28, 1985, the night of the American Music Awards. Since the artists were all in town for the awards, it was much easier to get them together to record the single.
The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video. Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.
Prince was asked to join the project, but he declined on the grounds that he does not record with other acts. Instead, he donated an exclusive track called “4 The Tears In Your Eyes” to the follow-up benefit album, which was also called We Are The World.
1911 – Stefan Kisielewski born in Warsaw, Poland (d.September 27, 1991 in Warsaw, Poland), nicknames Kisiel, Julia Hołyńska, Teodor Klon, Tomasz Staliński, was a Polish writer, publicist, composer and politician, and one of the members of Znak, one of the founders of the Unia Polityki Realnej, the Polish libertarian and conservative political party. Kisielewski was born to a Polish father Zygmunt Kisielewski and a Jewish mother Salomea Szapiro. In 1927 he entered the State Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, where he received three diplomas: in theory (1934, under Kazimierz Sikorski), in composition (1937, also under K. Sikorski) and in pedagogical piano (1937, under Jerzy Lefeld). He also studied Polish literature and philosophy at Warsaw University and completed his composition studies in Paris, in the years 1938–39. As a composer, Kisielewski remained firmly rooted in French neo-classicism, although his writings supported contemporary musical trends in Poland more broadly. His writing and political thought were generally marked by pragmatism and support for liberalism. In 1968, for criticizing censorship in communist Poland (at the meeting of the Polish Writers’ Union he used the designation ‘dyktatura ciemniaków’ – ‘a dictatorship of dunces’ – which became famous in Poland), he was forbidden to publish for three years. He was also beaten up by so-called “unknown perpetrators” (a euphemism for perpetrators of criminal acts of political violence who in all likelihood were members of the Communist secret police). In 1981 he coined the sentence “It’s not a crisis, it’s a result” to describe the down turn of the Polish economy at that time as a result of socialism. Another one of his famous statements was “socialism heroically overcomes difficulties unknown in any other system”, referring to the fact that many of the economic and social ills found under socialism were self-created. In 1990, together with the magazine Wprost, he established the Kisiel Prize.
1482 – Thomas de San Martín born in Cordoba, Spain, (d. August 31, 1555 in Lima, Peru); physician, priest, missionary, the founder of the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, a notable Spanish scholar, and was appointed the first Bishop of La Plata o Charcas (1552-1559). He served as Bishop La Plata o Charcas until his death in 1559. During this period, he was highly critical of the brutality of the conquistadors towards the indigenous peoples of the Americas. While Bishop, he was the principal co-consecrator of Bernardino de Carmona, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Compostela.
1274 – Saint Thomas Aquinas OP died in Fossanova, Papal States, (b. 1225 in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily); an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio. He wrote commentaries on practically every aspect of life. (His thoughts on women reflect the contemporary fallacy that men are superior to women!) Thomas Aquinas used the authority of Augustine’s ‘just war’ arguments in an attempt to define the conditions under which a war could be just. He laid these out in his historic work, Summa Theologica: First, war must occur for a good and just purpose rather than the pursuit of wealth or power. Second, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state. Third, peace must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.
“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
“It was civil disobedience that won them their civil rights.”
“Through non-violence, courage displaces fear; love transforms hate. Acceptance dissipates prejudice; hope ends despair. Peace dominates war; faith reconciles doubt. Mutual regard cancels enmity. Justice for all overthrows injustice. The redemptive community supercedes systems of gross social immorality.”
All wars are fought for money.