Tuesday, April 12, 2011
THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR ~ DIONNE AND FRIENDS
"That's What Friends Are For" is a 1982 song written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager and introduced by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack of the film Night Shift. The song is far better known for its cover version by Dionne Warwick and Friends. A one-off collaboration featuring Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder released as a charity single in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1985, it was recorded as a benefit for American Foundation for AIDS Research, and raised over US$3 million for that cause. The tune peaked at number one for three weeks on the soul chart and for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 interestingly becoming the final US number one for all but John in January 1986 and became Billboard's number one single of 1986. Elton John played piano and Stevie Wonder played harmonica; Those two previously worked together for the 1983's I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues. In 1988, the Washington Post wrote, "So working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. 'You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,' Warwick remembers. 'I am tired of hurting and it does hurt.'" The Dionne and Friends version of the song won the performers the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Bacharach and Bayer Sager. It also was ranked by Billboard magazine as the most popular song of 1986.Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder performed the song live together for the first time in 23 years at the 25th Anniversary AmfAR Gala in New York on February 10, 2011.Dionne and Friends' version also listed at #61 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time.