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Thread started 09/06/21 5:59am

hardwork

Dolly Parton and "We Are The World"

Why was Dolly not invited to sing on "We Are the World," - or was she and she declined? Kenny Rogers who was heavily associated with Dolly during this time period appeared yet Dolly did not. So did Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Hard to imagine Dolly would not at least be invited - by Kenny if by nobody else. She was a (huge?) bona fide bankable star in both music and film at the time - she had yet to settle into the space of timeless, iconic legacy act. Her image at the very least was that of a gentle, generous soul who has never forgotten her poverty-stricken roots, and, to be candid, she is certainly not one to pass up good publicity, and free at that. All things considered kind of curious her absence from the project.

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Reply #1 posted 09/06/21 11:09am

daingermouz202
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Good Question. I've never actually thought about that.
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Reply #2 posted 09/06/21 11:21am

kitbradley

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Some singers were not a part of We Are the World because they had previous engagements that evening. Perhaps that was the case with Dolly.
"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
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Reply #3 posted 09/06/21 1:41pm

TrivialPursuit

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Kenny was probably there because he was not only an established star, but had close ties with Lionel Richie, and Quincy.

Waylon Jennings left in a white-man huff. Willie was not only a favorite of MJ's mother Katherine, but he also covered "She's Out Of My Life," so he was on the radar anyway.

Waylon left when Stevie Wonder suggested that during the chorus, the background voices should sing a Swahili line, "We are the world - SHA LUM - we are the children - SHA LIN GAY..." Waylon stomped out saying he wasn't going to sing some African lyrics or whatever. Wikipedia notes:

"At this point, Waylon Jennings left the recording studio for a short time when it was suggested by some that the song be sung in Swahili. A heated debate ensued, in which several artists also rejected the suggestion. The 'sha-lum sha-lin-gay' sound ran into opposition as well and was subsequently removed from the song. Jennings returned to the studio and participated in the recording, which bears his name in the end credits."

He's in part of the documentary stuff, but I don't remember him in the final video. Maybe he's there. At one point, he was up behind The Pointer Sisters on the right. I think he's in wider shots, but those shots panning across the faces closer, you never really see his ass.

There is video of MJ running the people thru that chorus acapella. I don't remember if Jennings is in it or not, and I can't find the video right now.

As far as Dolly, she would've been great in a solo part, especially in the bridge, doing Cyndi Lauper's part. Cyndi would've fit easily into Kim Carnes part (and Kim can just be in the chorus or something). Maybe break that bridge up a bit more so Parton and Lauper had more balanced parts.

I always remember Tina Turner being hungry, singing, "FISH BURGER! DAH DAH DAH DUH DUHHH"

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #4 posted 09/06/21 3:16pm

PJMcGee

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Tina Turner sang what now?
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Reply #5 posted 09/06/21 5:27pm

TrivialPursuit

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PJMcGee said:

Tina Turner sang what now?


Yeah, she was just messing around, and said she was hungry. Then sang what she wanted.

At the 27:25 mark.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #6 posted 09/08/21 12:01am

Phase3

Phil Collins,george michael,and whitney Houston were not apart of it either.
Just seeing the names that were and were not included makes me in awe of how much talent we had in the 80's
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Reply #7 posted 09/08/21 11:01am

TrivialPursuit

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Phase3 said:

Phil Collins,george michael,and whitney Houston were not apart of it either. Just seeing the names that were and were not included makes me in awe of how much talent we had in the 80's


Well, Phil and George were part of the original idea, which was Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas." The song was released December 1984; recorded on November 25.

As far as Whitney: WATW was recorded in January 1985. Whitney Houston didn't come out until February 1985. She wasn't really anywhere in a big way. Her first few singles sorta bombed.

"Hold Me" was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass and was marketed from his album, not hers.

"Thinking About You" wasn't marketed to Top 40, but did okay on R&B charts.

"Someone For Me" was a UK only single.

"You Give Good Love" wasn't released until a week after the album was released. That makes it her fourth single and the first one anyone paid attention to. (I still think other songs are stronger than this one.) By now, it's late February.

She wasn't even on TV (on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson) until April.

So that's why Whitney wasn't in there. She wasn't anybody that anyone really knew or cared about - on a larger scale - at that point. Just a timing issue, really.

And I agree - I think the 80s was probably one of the very best decades with new talent and established talent doing new things.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #8 posted 09/08/21 2:01pm

PurpleJedi

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hmmm

By St. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of Purgatory!
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Reply #9 posted 09/09/21 7:08pm

MickyDolenz

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hardwork said:

Why was Dolly not invited to sing on "We Are the World," - or was she and she declined?

Why not Barbara Mandrell? She was popular in the late 1970s & early 1980s and even had a primetime variety show on NBC with her sisters Irlene & Louise. The country band Alabama was big around that time too. Anyway I thought it was people who was at the AMAs that were on the song. That's how they all happened to be in the same city. I don't think Dolly was at the awards. A few people on We Are The World also performed at the first Farm Aid. Dolly wasn't at Farm Aid either, but Kenny was.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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