Entertainment Roundup

Pierre Robert broadcasting live from the event on May 25th, 1986

Ken Kragen, whose entertainment career included numerous accolades including organizing USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” and “Hands Across America,” has died. He was 85. His death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by a family spokesperson who said he died in his home in Los Angeles yesterday (December 14) of natural causes. Kragen’s decades-long career included being the manager for a number of high-profile musicians including Kenny Rogers, the Bee-Gees, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton-John and others.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Kragen was one of the driving forces in recruiting the diverse roster that made up USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” after being contacted by Harry Belafonte. Following the success of “We Are the World,” Kragen went on to help organize “Hands Across America,” which helped raise money for hunger and homeless initiatives.

WMMR was stationed on MLK Drive on May 25th, 1986, broadcasting live from Hands Across America. Pierre Robert was on hand to help host both on site and on air.

Per theconstitutional.com: “As the then newly minted number 1 rated radio station, WMMR was ‘word of mouth at scale’ in Philadelphia and could generate enormous crowds… This could be seen all over Philadelphia on May 25, 1986 when it is estimated that tens of thousands of people showed up to celebrate Hands Across America with WMMR, from the Falls Bridge to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, into Center City Philadelphia, past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and over the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey.”


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.