Rock’s First Global Fundraiser: The Concert For Bangladesh
On August 1, 1971, George Harrison headlined the all-star 'The Concert For Bangladesh' backed by a 24-piece band of musicians and singers at Madison Square Garden. Equally notable were appearances by Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan, both of whom like Harrison, had not been available to concert audiences for several years. Dylan's participation had been uncertain until he walked on for his segment midway through the afternoon show.
After being made aware of the gravity of the situation in what was then East Pakistan by friend and musician Ravi Shankar in June 1971, Harrison set out organizing two fundraising concerts at Madison Square Garden to aid the war ravaged, disaster stricken country. He composed and rush-released the song 'Bangla Desh' as a charity single four days before the shows in order to call further attention to the homeless Bengali refugees.
The concerts were highly successful in raising international awareness of the plight of the refugees – thought to number up to 10 million – and a check for over $243,000 was soon sent to UNICEF for relief according to Wikipedia.
George Harrison – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Ravi Shankar – sitar
Bob Dylan – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Leon Russell – piano, vocals, bass, backing vocals
Ringo Starr – drums, vocals, tambourine
Billy Preston – Hammond organ, vocals
Eric Clapton – electric guitar
Ali Akbar Khan – sarod
Alla Rakha – tabla
Kamala Chakravarty – tambura