Country singers. Christian rockers. Heavy-metal headbangers. French artistes . Broadway hoofers. Glib deejays.
They've all gotten involved in the cause.
In fact, it seems like practically everybody in entertainment has been trying to help ease the tragic famine situation in Africa.
One thing that all these groups have in common with each other--aside from their willingness to help and their access to large amounts of publicity--is their adult status. They're all established in their fields, and their personal prestige more or less guarantees some amount of success for the project.
Well, stand aside, old-timers, the show-biz kids have gotten into the act, and if Thursday's single/video recording session by Kidds for Kids in Africa is any indication, they're intent on keeping the America-Africa friendship connection wide open and fully operative.
Inside the packed, cable- and light-strewn Cherokee Studios, 72 teen-agers and preteens of assorted ages, sizes and visibilities stood together on some hastily assembled chorus risers and belted out "Love's Gonna Find a Way," a tune written by "Dallas" regular Deborah Shelton and her husband, Shuki Levy. Up front, the four hosts of NBC's "Kidd Video" swapped lead vocals, getting deep into the proceedings as only the young can do.
"I think all of us really feel strongly about doing this," said Robbie Rist, one of the foursome from the Saturday morning "Kidd Video" show. "This morning we were kind of going, 'Well, this is cool, getting together like this,' but later on, after we'd done it a few times, everybody stopped and said, 'Hey, we're really here for a purpose .' "
The stated purpose of the all-star "kid vid" is to raise money to aid the plight of African children. According to Candler Miller, Southern California area director for the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, will receive all the revenue generated by the Kidds for Kids in Africa single and video, which were co-produced by Mark Friedman Productions and Saban Productions.
"All the services, talent and facilities were donated to get this done," Miller said. "After it's finished, our special projects division will take the products and market them. The way we figure it, every word these kids sing helps save the life of a child in Africa."
The project originated back in March among the four "Kidd Video" stars. They wanted to gather some 50 of their more illustrious peers together and, in the mold of the immensely successful Band Aid and USA for Africa efforts, make a record and video whose proceeds would aid suffering children abroad.
They teamed up with their publicist, Lane Mahoney of Solters/Roskin/Friedman, and through mutual effort and, as Mahoney said, "a lot of time on the phone," the commitments started rolling in. On Thursday the young stars crowded into the studio--among them Malcolm Jamal Warner of "The Cosby Show," Todd Bridges of "Diff'rent Strokes," Kim Fields of "The Facts of Life" and Jason Bateman of "It's Your Move."
And so another relief project was born--albeit belatedly. But, as Shelton pointed out: "We thought the important thing was to keep the energy going, keep people's awareness on the situation in Africa. And the kids hadn't had their say yet, so we thought it was the perfect thing."
The kids agreed.
"Everybody here," said Bryan Scott, another of the "Kidd Video" quartet, "broke all of their appointments to come and be part of this happening. And these are some kids with some heavy schedules."
"It's a feeling we all have now," added Rist. "I mean, if some kid in Intercourse, Pa., tunes this in and starts to feel like he can do something, then that's great. We've done our bit, and we'll keep doing it. That's what we're here for."