Country Singers to Stage ‘Farm Aid’ (Chicago Sun-Times) (August 18, 1985)


Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, August 18, 1985

CHAMPAIGN – Taking their cue from rock music’s Live Aid concerts for victims of African famine, country singers and other will stage a 12-hour “Farm Aid” concert here next month to help struggling American farmers.

Singer Willie Nelson told a press conference that he will be joined in the September 22 show at Memorial Stadium by Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, John Cougar Mellencamp and Bob Dylan.

“What it really amounts to is we are going to call some attention to the farmer’s situation and raise some money and see where this money can be spent,” Nelson said.

The musicians might record a benefit album for farmers to raise money and attract attention to their plight, he said.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t try and get everything out of this that we can,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he will meet with farm representatives from around the country to discuss how money raised by the concert should be spent. He said he thought the most immediate use would be feeding farm families.

Nelson said the group has set up a toll-free number to accept contributions: 1-800-FARM-AID.

A group of musicians came up with the idea to hold the concert after the Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia and London raised more thatn $70 million for famine relief in Africa, Nelson said.

When asked if the musicians would compose a song similar to “We Are the World”, which was recorded by dozens of rock and pop singers to promote awareness of hunger in Africa, Nelson said, “I hope someone will come up with one.”

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