Many of you would have seen the fabulous new music documentary on Netflix, ‘The Greatest Night In Pop’, the making of We Are The World. If you’re a music fan and haven’t watched it, you need to. It’s a fascinating behind the scenes look at the making of a hit which featured almost every major artist that was available in America at the time including: Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen ,Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, and
Ray Charles. There are some enthralling moments captured in the doco such as a Ray Charles offering to take Stevie Wonder to the bathroom, literally the blind leading the blind. There’s Bob Dylan looking lost when he has to record his solo spot in front of so many other stars and only achieves his goal when the room is emptied apart from Stevie Wonder, who helps Bob through his part. Weirdly, Waylon Jennings is caught leaving the session when he thinks he is obligated to sing a Swahili version of the chorus. Then there’s Diana Ross fan-girling Darryl Hall and Sheila E opening up to say she believed she was only asked to the session as a lure to get Prince to come to the studio, plus so many other gems recorded on film.
The documentary has been universally acclaimed as one of the best music documentaries ever produced, however drummer for the We Are The World sessions, John JR Robinson has taken to his Instagram page to castigate the documentary producer Bao Nguyen for not giving credit to the session musicians, the people who built the track from scratch. In his Instagram post, JR says “ This director Bao Nguyen did not credit us one bit and I think it was a huge oversight from his professional output and outcome.” To put the record straight JR then went on to list the musicians who played on the recording and they included:
– John Barnes – keyboards, programming, arrangement
– David Paich – synthesizers
– Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming
– Ian Underwood – synthesizers, programming
– Steve Porcaro – synthesizers, programming
– Paulinho da Costa – percussion
– Louis Johnson – bass
– Michael Omartian – keyboards
– Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
– John Robinson – drums
JR continued on, “I just wanted to say to Mr Nguyen that I loved your documentary, other than the fact that you left out the foundation. That’s just not cool. Congratulations… I’m just sticking up for my fellow musicians.” At time of posting Bao Nguyen had not responded.
World-renowned, Grammy winning drummer, John JR Robinson has played on recordings that have sold well over 500 million copies and currently streamed well into the trillions, JR’s grooves are featured on many legendary hits with artists Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Madonna, Steve Winwood, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, The Pointer Sisters, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Barbra Streisand and many more. JR has an autobiography King of the Groove-The John JR Robinson Story, due out in 2024. https://www.johnjrrobinson.com/