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CHARITY RIDES - March 2024

"The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in payer."

 

- Mahatma Gandhi

 



All of the Loyal Subscribers (LS) of MILES PEDDLED (MP) are very fortunate and are going to ride, so why not ride with a purpose and for a cause?  In pursuit of this goal, this Month’s edition of MP will outline 3 charity rides that can be undertaken to help support a worthwhile cause.  Hence, this Month’s edition will be entitled CHARITY RIDES.  Please remember: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Ann Frank.

 

Before we get to the subject matter of this Month’s edition, however, let’s talk about one of the greatest acts of charity ever performed in the music world.  Playlist recommendation:  WE ARE THE WORLD by numerous artists.  Movie recommendation:  THE GREATEST NIGHT IN POPS directed by Bao Nguyen.

 

According to DMANOPEDIA, in 1984 a famine was sweeping across the African continent.  Many of the institutional charitable organizations began to raise money to purchase and send food to Africa.  Several ad hoc groups formed for the same cause.  In the Trivia/Quiz section there will be questions regarding the inspiration for and the organizers of We Are The World.

 

During the evening of January 22, 1985, a group of over 40 singers met in a Los Angeles recording studio to record the song We Are The World.  They kept going until the morning of January 23, 1985.  Fortunately, there was a video crew present to document this recording session, which is the subject matter of the movie The Greatest Night in Pops.

 

Recently, LS JULIA CHILDS (JC) met with the editorial board of MP to discuss the movie.  Here are the joint observations that came out of this meeting:

 

●       Energy and Focus:

 

The only way that all of these performers could get together was to hold the recording session after the American Music Awards which that evening were hosted by Lionel Richie.  Not only did Lionel play an instrumental role in the song We Are the World, he also hosted the American Music Awards and immediately thereafter went to the recording studio with 40 famous musicians to record this song.  His energy and focus is clearly evident in the movie.

 

●       Respect:

 

Quincy Jones was drafted to be the producer of the song.  It is clear in the movie that all artists entering the room had the utmost respect for Mr. Jones.

 

●       Most Beautiful Voice:

 

Obviously this is a subjective interpretation, but after meeting with JC the editorial board of MP agrees that the most beautiful voice recorded that night was Michael Jackson.  A close second was Steve Perry the front man for Journey.

 

●       Odd Couple:

 

The verses of the song were sung by pre-selected small groups of singers.  The oddest pairing was Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, and Al Jarreau.

           

●       Most Out of Place:

 

When watching the movie it is clear that Bob Dylan feels completely out of place.  Surprisingly, Dan Akroyd also participated in singing parts of the chorus.  He seemed to be perfectly comfortable with his role.

 

●       Biggest Sourpuss:

 

During the recording session Stevie Wonder began singing in Swahili.  This clearly pissed off Waylon Jennings who stated: “This old country boy don’t sing Swahili.”  He then proceeded to walk out of the recording.  He is, however, credited with singing in the chorus section.

 

●       Most Unexpected Moment:

 

During the recording session Al Jarreau, who obviously had too much to drink, began singing Harry Belafonte’s famous song DAY O.  This broke the ice, and all of the artists began to sing the song.

 

A close follow-up to the most unexpected moment was when Diana Ross went up to Darryl Hall (Hall & Oates) and indicated that she was a big fan of his and asked that he sign her lyrics sheet.  This began a parade of the artists in the room having other artists sign their lyric sheets.  Think how much one of these signed lyrics sheets would be worth today.

 

●       Funniest Moments:

 

As noted above, the recording session began during the evening and continued through the morning hours of the following day.  Obviously, the singers were hungry and one of the funniest moments is when Tina Turner begins singing in her unmistakable style that she wants “chicken and waffles.”  Thereafter, several of the singers ordered chicken and waffles to be brought in.

 

Another funny moment was when Paul Simon quipped: “If a bomb hits the recording studio and kills us all, then John Denver is back on top.”

 

Watch the movie and see if you agree with the observations set forth above.  Now on to the subject matter of this Month’s edition:  CHARITY RIDES.

 

1.         BIKE MS

 

●       General Information:

 

Bike MS is the Number 1 fund raising cycling series in the Nation.  To date, Bike MS cyclists, volunteers and donors have raised over $1 billion to help people affected by MS live their best lives.  There are cycling events held throughout the Nation.  Google Bike MS to find the event nearest your home.

 

●       Ride:

 

The 2024 Bike MS cycling event to be held in northern Illinois is called TOUR DE FARMS 2024.  Google Bike MS 2024 Illinois to obtain the details.  In brief summary, this event will take place on June 22, and June 23, 2024 and will commence at Maple Park, Illinois.  You have the option of riding 25, 62 or 100 miles.  The minimum fundraising goal is $300.00 per cyclist.

 

In 2019, the CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD (COB) led a MP expedition in completing the TOUR DE FARMS FOR MS.  As noted above, the riders have the option of riding 25, 62 or 100 miles each day.  At approximately the 50 mile mark you need to make a decision as to whether you are going to ride 62 miles or 100 miles.  Since COB was leading this expedition he was entrusted with the responsibility of making the decision whether to go 62 miles or 100 miles.  At the 50 mile mark if COB turned left, the group would be riding 62 miles; but if he turned right, the group would be riding 100 miles.  COB came to the demarcation point, and without hesitation, turned right and chose the century ride.  After he made the turn, he yelled back to the group “It’s a beautiful day and we’re not getting any younger.  We’re going all the way!”  That day the group rode 101 miles and raised over $700.00 for MS.

 

●       Playlist Suggestion:

 

BLUE SKY by the Allman Brothers Band.

 

2.         SCENIC SHORE BIKE TOUR

 

●       General Information:

 

There is a wonderful website entitled Charity Bike Rides Calendar 2024 and 2025 where you can find a charity bike ride in your area to support your chosen cause.  Google https://www.bikeride.com/charity-bike-rides/.

 

The Scenic Shore Bike Tour (SSBT) is a beautiful ride on the Wisconsin Lake Michigan Shoreline to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), which helps those impacted by blood cancer.  In the ride’s 31 year existence they have raised over $8 million to help patients, families and caregivers who have been affected by blood cancer.  80% of the funds raised go to the mission.

 

●       Ride:

 

The SSBT is a 2-day, 150 mile ride which starts in Mequon, Wisconsin, and travels north up to Manitowoc, Wisconsin where you finish Day 1.  Thereafter, you continue on to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to finish Day 2.  There are rest stops every 10 to 15 miles with support. 2 day fundraising minimum $500.00; 1 day fundraising minimum $350.00; if you just want to do the 25 mile it is a $100.00 minimum fundraising.  The event is held on July 27, and July 28, 2024.  Google:  https://pages.lls.org/events/vtnt/2024ss150 for more details.

 

●       Playlist Suggestion:

 

RISE UP by Andra Day.

 

3.        BIKE THE DRIVE

 

●       General Information:

 

Every Sunday during Labor Day weekend, Lake Shore Drive, now known as Du Sable Lake Shore Drive, is closed from Hollywood on the north to the Science and Industry Museum at 57th Street on the south for cyclists.  It is a surreal experience to bike the Drive from one end to the other non-stop without any automobile traffic.  Register at https://bikethedrive.org and enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

●       Ride:

 

This year’s ride is on September 1, 2024, and starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends by 10:30 a.m.  From Hollywood Avenue to the Science and Industry Museum is approximately 18 miles one-way, so if you ride down and back you will have accomplished at least 36 miles.  The ride itself supports the Active Transportation Alliance which is a non-profit advocacy organization working to improve conditions for walking, biking, and public transit throughout Chicagoland.

 

●       Playlist Suggestion:

 

Obviously, the only reasonable playlist suggestion is LAKE SHORE DRIVE by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah.

 

Time for this Month’s Trivia/Quiz section.  As noted above, the movie recommendation this month is GREATEST NIGHT IN POP which documents the making of the song We Are The World.  Hence, the Trivia/Quiz questions will be about this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration of artists.  The answers will be in the postscript section.

 

1.         What was the inspiration for the making of We Are The World?  Rock Aid Armenia, Farm Aid, Band Aid or Live Aid?

 

2.         Who had the original vision for recording We Are The World?  Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Don Cornelius, or President Barack Obama.

 

3.         Who were the main organizers of the event?  Harry Belafonte; Ken Kragen; Lionel Richie; Quincy Jones; all of the above; or, none of the above.

 

4.         There were 2 primary songwriters for We Are The World – who are they?  Quincy Jones; Lionel Richie; Paul Simon; Stevie Wonder; or Michael Jackson.

 

5.         Who was asked to attend but declined to do so?  Cat Stevens; Eddie Murphy; Sting; or Prince.

 

6.         Who did the organizers not ask to attend? Rev. Al Green; Madonna; Linda Ronstadt; Paul McCartney; or all of the above.

 

7.         In today’s dollars, how much money did We Are The World raise in record sales and sales of promotional materials?  $80 million; $120 million; $175 million; or $215 million.

 

TEASE TIME:  The April 2024 Edition of MP will return to the subject matter of biking treks that can be done in conjunction with a camping adventure.  Hence, next month’s edition will be entitled “BIKING AND CAMPING TREKS.”  Playlist suggestion:  DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT by King Harvest.

 

Time to go, but please remember:  “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.” – President Barack Obama.  Make change happen through your charity and remember to R, R & R!


 


 

POSTSCRIPT:

 

Answers to Trivia/Quiz Section:

 

1.         Inspiration:

 

The inspiration for We Are The World was Band Aid organized by Bob Geldof (which for his efforts he later became Sir Bob Geldof) which released the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?.”  In fact, Sir Bob made an appearance at the recording session of We Are The World and along with Quincy Jones told everyone to “check their ego at the door.”

 

2.         U.S. Founder:

 

After hearing the release of Do They Know It’s Christmas? musician, actor and activist, Harry Belafonte decided that American artists should raise funds to for African famine relief.  He was the main visionary behind We Are The World.

 

3.         Other Organizers:

 

Once Harry Belafonte had his vision, he enlisted the help of renowned music agent Ken Kragen who in turn sought the help of Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones.  Richie, Jackson, and Jones all immediately responded to the request.  Stevie was a little bit late and did not join the fray until much later.

 

4.         Songwriters:

 

Ken Kragin requested that Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder write the song and melody.  Richie took the lead but, as noted above, Stevie did not respond immediately.  Hence, Lionel and Michael went forward and wrote the song We Are The World without the aid of Stevie.

 

5.         Declined to Attend:

 

The organizers requested Prince, who was at the height of his popularity at this time, to attend the recording sessions.  He declined to do so.  Consequently, during the recording session his verse had to be given to another artist.  Quincy Jones selected Huey Lewis to sing Prince’s part.  Lewis, by his own admission, had a lot of trepidation about doing so, but when you watch the movie you will see that he did an excellent job.

 

Surprisingly, Eddie Murphy was also asked to attend but he declined to do so.  Neither Sting nor Cat Stevens were asked to attend.

 

6.         Not Asked to Attend:

 

The organizers did not ask the Rev. Al Green, Madonna or Linda Ronstadt to attend.  With respect to Madonna, who was also at the height of her popularity, and was in attendance at the American Music Awards that evening, Quincy Jones explained that her voice was not “distinctive enough” to stand out in the crowd.  Hence, they choose Cyndi Lauper.  Watch the movie and see if you enjoy her singing.

 

7.         Fundraising:

 

In today’s dollars We Are The World raised approximately $215 million dollars.  In conjunction with Band Aid they spurred many follow-up charity recordings including, but not limited to Farm Aid; Life Aid; We Are the World 25 for Haiti; and the Lincoln Memorial Aid Concert.  The last one had a very diverse group of singers who performed at the Lincoln Memorial including Aretha Franklin, L.L. Cool J, Michael Bolton, and Tony Bennett, to name just a few.

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