“An empty theater is a promise unfulfilled. In a few hours, everything around him would be light and noise. Laughter and applause. Colorful people packed together in their colorful finery. Tonight, the promise would be fulfilled. And then, after the curtain came down and the gaslights were snuffed out, there would be darkness again. That was the beauty of it. That was theater.”
On this day in music history: March 7, 1985 - “We Are The World” by USA For Africa is released. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, the song will raise millions for African famine relief. Jackson and Richie will donate all of their publishing royalties from “We Are The World” to the USA For Africa Foundation, and Columbia Records will agree to press and distribute the record gratis worldwide. The label will ship over 800,000 copies of the single to record stores when it arrives that Thursday morning. By Saturday, the single will be completely sold out. CBS Records will have to run extra shifts at their three US pressing plants in Terre Haute, IN, Carrollton, GA, and Pitman, NJ in order to meet the huge demand for the record. By the time the single drops off the chart in July, it has sold over 4.5 million copies in the US alone, becoming one of the best selling singles in history. “We Are The World” will win four Grammy Awards including Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group, Record Of The Year, and Song Of The Year in 1986.