On this day in music history: August 1, 1971 - “The Concert For Bangladesh”, takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Organized by George Harrison, the benefit concert will feature Harrison along with Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Billy Preston and Ringo Starr. It is the first benefit concert of its kind, raising relief money for the people of Bangladesh (now East Pakistan) who have suffered the devastating effects of a cyclone and human rights abuses from the Pakistan Army during a war fought in the region. The two performances (an afternoon and an evening show) are filmed and recorded for later release as a theatrically released film and a three LP box set. Both raise millions for the people of Bangladesh, and “The Concert For Bangladesh” album sells over two million copies in the US alone, winning a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1973. Sales of both the DVD and CD releases of the concert continue to generate relief money for the people of Bangladesh today, with the total now estimated at over $20 million. The success of this humanitarian effort provides the template for later benefits such as Live Aid and the USA For Africa Trust.
thanks as ever to Jeff Harris at his wondrous Behind The Grooves