More than 30 Austin musicians recently contributed to a video for the 1960s Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic "What the World Needs Now Is Love" that was posted to YouTube earlier this week.
Organized by Cassie Shankman from the Austin-based Center for Music Therapy, the video features artists including Sydney Wright, Curtis McMurtry and Diana Burgess, Lydia Froncek of Ley Line, James Junius and Sarah Dossey contributing vocal and instrumental tracks from their homes. The song, a 1965 top-10 hit for Jackie DeShannon, subsequently was recorded by many other artists including the Supremes, Petula Clark and Aimee Mann, and has appeared on many film soundtracks.
In a public post on her Facebook page, Shankman explained that she was inspired by a version of the song recently recorded by students from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. "With our project, we want to challenge other musical communities around the world to collaborate and orchestrate their own cover of ’What the World Needs Now,’" she wrote.
"The musicians featured in this video are full-time musicians / service industry workers who have lost their jobs and been severely affected by COVID-19," Shankman added. "We wanted to come together and create something beautiful for our community."
She also noted that "If you would like to support these musicians, please feel free to tip them through Venmo." The full list of contributors is on the YouTube video description. Shankman also recommended contributions to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the SIMS Foundation, Central Texas Food Bank and the Austin Music Foundation.
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