Star-studded new version of Stand By Me being released to support music charity

Northampton born Bob Harris has brought together dozens of names from across the music industry to re-record the classic track which is out next month.

By David Jackson
Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 10:02 pm
#StandByMe has been bought together by Bob Harris.
#StandByMe has been bought together by Bob Harris.

A new version of the iconic Ben E King song Stand By Me featuring performances by the likes of Mark Knopfler, Rick Wakeman and The Shires is being released next month to mark the 60th anniversary of the track.

#StandByMe has been bought together by BBC Radio 2 host Bob Harris.

It will be released on the Northampton born presenter’s Under The Apple Tree Records label and will be raising money for the charity Help Musicians.

Mr Harris, who is this year celebrating 50 years in broadcasting, said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the UK music scene.

“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.”

A huge array of artists have come together under the banner ‘Whispering Bob’s Allstars’ to perform the song remotely, including Mark Knopfler, Rosanne Cash, Paul Rodgers, PP Arnold, Peter Frampton, Mica Paris, Rick Wakeman, Richard Thompson, Beth Nielsen Chapman, John Oates, Leo Sayer, The Shires and Ward Thomas.

Available from October 27 and released in partnership with Absolute Label Services, all funds are being raised via the #StandByMe Go Fund Me page which is now live.

Help Musicians is an independent charity and for nearly 100 years has provided support and opportunities to musicians over 18-years-old at any stage of their career or retirement.

CEO James Ainscough said: “We're delighted 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.”