On July 13, 1985, the first Live Aid concert brought together musical artists and fans from around the world to raise money for famine relief in African nations and raised $127 million. Thousands gathered at London’s Wembley and Philadelphia’s JFK stadiums and millions of people watched on T.V.
Singer Bob Geldof formed Band Aid to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984. His fundraising efforts led to the creation of the Live Aid concert the following year. A performance of “We are the World” wrapped up the historic day.
Do you remember these moments?
U2 – Bad
The Police – Roxanne
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody and Radio Gaga
Cyndi Lauper, with her 80s pop classics like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Time After Time, and She Bop, had us dancing and singing along; however, it isn’t until this last decade with 2003’s album of standards At Last, 2005’s The Body Acoustic, and 2008’s dance extravaganza Bring Ya to the Brink, that she’s had listeners realizing how great she really is. Her voice is a natural force and she can really hit those notes. Not everyone can sing “At Last” but Cyndi can, and her version is my favorite.
Now she’s signing the blues. With her recently released Memphis Blues, she pays homage to the Delta and is joined by great musicians, including the blues legend B.B. King.
As soon as you hear the opening bars of Charlie Musslewhite’s harmonica on the first track, “Just Your Fool,” you know you’re in for something pretty cool. The playful piano of Allen Toussaint is featured on three tunes; B.B. King lends his guitar and vocals on “Early in the Mornin’,” and Ann Peebles duets with Lauper on “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” one of the standout songs on the album. Her best partner though, is Jonny Lang, the 29-year-old who has always been talented beyond his years. Their vocals and Jonny’s guitar licks make “How Blue Can You Get?” and “Crossroads” sizzle. Her solos “Down So Low,” “Romance in the Dark,” and “Shattered Dreams” are scorchers!
Blues music, as does the city itself, brings out the best in Lauper. She dedicates this album to “the early blues artists who traveled through the cross roads, suitcase in hand, to Memphis.” On Memphis Blues, Lauper has reinvented herself and has confirmed her true artistry yet again. She’s singing those blues as though she’s lived them!
2009 I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
2008 I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
2007 Umbrella – Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
2006 Do I Make You Proud – Taylor Hicks
2005 Inside Your Heaven – Carrie Underwood
2004 Burn – Usher
2003 This Is the Night – Clay Aiken
2002 Hot in Herre – Nelly
2001 Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink
2000 Be with You – Enrique Iglesias