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Broadcaster Bob Harris Coordinates Star-Packed, Charity ‘Stand By Me’

The new version is being spearheaded by much-respected British broadcaster Bob Harris OBE, also marking his own, current 50th anniversary as a BBC presenter.

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Stand By Me 2020 sleeve
Photo: Under The Apple Tree Records

A new, star-packed version of Ben E. King’s soul and pop classic “Stand By Me” is being recorded to raise funds for the time-honored Help Musicians charity. Contributors include Peter Frampton, Paul Rodgers, Richard Thompson, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Darius Rucker and countless others.

The project will mark the 60th anniversary of the recording of the song on October 27, 1960. The new version is being spearheaded by much-respected British broadcaster Bob Harris OBE, who is marking his own, current 50th anniversary as a BBC presenter. “Stand By Me” has long been “Whispering” Bob’s all-time favorite recording.

Bob Harris OBE

Bob Harris photo: Under The Apple Tree Records

#StandByMe (2020) will benefit the 99-year-old Help Musicians, which continues to provide vital support to thousands of music creators, fulfilling an even more vital role during the pandemic. The track will be released via Under The Apple Tree Records, in partnership with Absolute Label Services, on October 27. That’s 60 years to the day since King cut the original, produced by Leiber & Stoller who co-wrote it with him. All funds for the new release are being raised via the #StandByMe Go Fund Me page, which is now live.

A full list of the artists who have pledged to perform the song remotely for inclusion on the track, all personally invited by Harris, is below. It also includes such notables as Paul Rodgers, Rick Wakeman, John Oates, the Shires, Ward Thomas, PP Arnold and Mary Gauthier.

Helping the “diverse and dedicated” live community

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the UK music scene,” says Harris. “The artists who rely on live performances for their income have been particularly hard hit. For the past six years Under The Apple Tree has been a fantastic platform for emerging artists and now, in this time of difficulty, we want to raise funds to help the diverse and dedicated grass roots music community that we love so much.”

Adds James Ainscough, CEO of Help Musicians: “We’re delighted that Bob Harris OBE, a Help Musicians ambassador for many years, has instigated this wonderful project. Music has sustained so many of us during lockdown, yet tens of thousands of musicians have had their income wiped out. It is through fundraisers such as this that the Help Musicians team can continue to provide the broad range of support that is needed now more than ever.

“Thanks to those generously donating, Help Musicians has been able to offer financial hardship support, creative development opportunities and a vital mental health service which reaches the entire music community during this difficult time. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Bob and the team for their continued support, and to everyone who donates to this unique single.”

#StandByMe (2020) is released on October 27. Pre-order it here.

#StandByMe (2020) artists:
· Anna Corcoran
· Beth Nielsen Chapman
· Callaghan
· Darius Rucker
· Demi Marriner
· Elles Bailey
· Gregor Philp
· Jamie Lawson
· Jimmie Allen
· John Oates
· Judie Tzuke
· Judith Owen
· Kiki Dee
· Laura Cantrell
· Laura Oakes
· Leo Sayer
· Mary Gauthier
· McCrary Sisters
· Mica Paris
· Mollie Marriott
· P.P. Arnold
· Paul Rodgers
· Peter Frampton
· Richard Thompson
· Rick Wakeman
· Robbie Cavanagh
· Robert Vincent
· Sam Outlaw
· Sam Palladio
· Steve Cradock
· The Shires
· Twinnie
· Ward Thomas
· Wildwood Kin

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