Paul McCartney has joined an all-star collective of artists to record a new version of the classic “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Mick Jones from The Clash, Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze and Gerry Marsden of Gerry & The Pacemakers, as well as younger artists like Melanie C. of The Spice Girls and Robbie Williams are all on the track as well.
Proceeds from the single will go towards the the legal expenses of families of people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, a human crush which happened at a soccer game in England where 96 people died and 766 others were injured. News of the single comes after a report found that police officers’ statements were altered after the tragedy and up to 41 lives could potentially have been saved if the response of the emergency services had been swifter.
In 1989, McCartney and Marsden were among the artists to contribute to an all-star version of Gerry & The Pacemakers’ “Ferry Across The Mersey” to raise funds for those affected in the disaster. That single went to #1, and hopes are high that the update of “He Ain’t Heavy” will top the British charts as well.
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” was originally recorded by an artist named Kelly Gordon in 1969, but became a huge hit when The Hollies covered it later that year. It has since been recorded by Neil Diamond, Cher, The Osmonds and Barry Manilow, among many others. The new version of the song will be released on December 17.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local
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