Play On: A Celebration of Music to Make Change


Play On

As is often the case, I recorded a TV program only to watch it about a month later. Play On: A Celebration of the Power of Music to Make Change aired in mid-December 2020.

“Play On is a concert benefit for The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF) and WhyHunger, two charities fighting for the country’s most pressing issues: Racial justice, equity, and food insecurity.”

It was hosted by Kevin Bacon and Eve. There were other non-performers involved, including Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Ringo Starr, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, most of these brief.

Recording these types of programming is actually the best way to watch them. One can fast-forward through the parts where the announcer intones, “Coming Up:” this one and that one. It happens during awards shows, which is why I record, say, the Academy Awards then start watching the DVR an hour later.

“SixDegrees.Org created the Play On Fund to amplify the work of both LDF and WhyHunger. You can learn more about their work at” The artists played at shuttered venues across the country: the Troubador in Los Angeles, The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, and the Apollo in New York City.

The performers

American Reckoning – Bon Jovi. This is a song from the band’s 2020 album. It is actually the first Bon Jovi album I ever purchased. My wife requested it, and I gave it to her on Valentine’s Day.

Hold On – Yola with The Highwomen. I have a Highwomen album, but I was unfamiliar with Yola. Some promo I heard referred to her as the “gender-bending Yola,” as though that were the most important of her attributes.

Feed the Babies – Gary Clark Jr. I should buy his music.

Illegal Search – LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip. He said he can’t believe he wrote the song 30 years ago, yet it’s still relevant.

Beware of Darkness -Sheryl Crow. Yes, the George Harrison song.

Justice/Get Up Stand Up  – Ziggy Marley and Andra Day.

Benefic – Machine Gun Kelly. Not my cuppa, but he has a lot of energy.

Better Than We Found It – Maren Morris. She said the song was inspired by becoming a new mother in March 2020.

People Get Ready – Sara Bareilles, Emily King, Jon Batiste, and Steve Jordan. Trading licks.

The whole thing.

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