On August 1, 1971.

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“The Concert for Bangladesh” were actually two benefit concerts organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at 2.30 and 8 pm on Sunday, August 1, 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows were organized to raise international awareness and fund relief efforts for refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), following the Bangladesh Liberation War-related Bangladesh atrocities. The concerts were followed by a live album, a boxed three-record set, and “Apple Films” concert documentary, which opened in cinemas in the spring of 1972. The event was the first-ever benefit concert of such a magnitude and featured a supergroup of performers that included Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the Badfinger. In addition, Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan – both of whom had ancestral roots in Bangladesh – performed an opening set of Indian classical music. Decades later, Shankar would say of the overwhelming success of the event: “In one day, the whole world knew the name of Bangladesh. It was a fantastic occasion”.

The concerts raised close to US$250,000 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. Although the project was subsequently marred by financial problems – a result of the pioneering nature of the venture – the “Concert for Bangladesh” is recognized as a highly successful and influential humanitarian aid project, generating both awareness and considerable funds as well as providing valuable lessons and inspiration for projects that followed, notably Live Aid. By 1985, through revenue raised from the “Concert for Bangladesh” live album and film, an estimated $12 million had been sent to Bangladesh in relief. Sales of the live album and DVD release of the film continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.

On July 18, 1953.

On July 18, 1953, truck driver Elvis Presley made his first ever recording. He recorded a vanity disc as a present for his mother at the Memphis recording service, singing two songs “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”. He paid $3.98 for the recording.

On July 11, 1969.

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On July 11, 1969, “Phillips” label released “Space Oddity / Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud”, 7″ single by David Bowie. It was recorded on June 20, 1969, and was produced by Gus Dudgeon.

Personnel:

  • David Bowie – vocals, acoustic guitar, stylophone
  • Mick Wayne – lead guitar
  • Herbie Flowers – bass guitar
  • Terry Cox – drums
  • Paul Buckmaster – string arrangement
  • Tony Visconti – flutes, woodwinds
  • Rick Wakeman – mellotron