As our country faces the effects of COVID-19 and everyone pitches in to help in their own, unique way, it is fascinating to examine how Rock-and-Roll has historically contributed to America’s philanthropic spirit through the work of Bill Graham.
Just before New York City shut down in mid-March, I had the pleasure of visiting the NY Historical Society’s most recent exhibit: Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution. When this is all over and we get our lives back, this is a “must-see” for anyone and everyone who can make the trip!
Throughout history, Bill Graham not only paved a visionary career path for himself, but launched and grew iconic jam bands like the Grateful Dead through his work as a promoter. An important part of Graham’s legacy was his creation and coordination of large scale benefit concerts. As a Holocaust survivor, Graham recognized the need to provide for both local and global families and placed rock and roll music at the epicenter as a philanthropic force of greatness.
To honor and showcase his incredible journey, an exhibition starting in Los Angeles, CA and moving across the country to the New York Historical Society, was created- it is epic. The exhibit explores the 20th century’s monumental transformation through the eyes of Rock and Roll. Showcasing memorabilia and images from some of rock’s most symbolic moments, this musical, audio packed tour takes you through decades of musical history. The exhibit highlights bands such as the Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead who credit Graham for his essential role in the creation of their successful careers.
The Grateful Dead, April 15, 1979 Publicity Photo Shoot.
The Grateful Dead, a band dear to CGNY and millions across the globe, worked closely with Graham on some of his most iconic, large scale benefit concerts. From Graham’s first-ever outdoor concert to benefit after-school funds canceled by a San Francisco school district, to his well-known benefit concert, Live Aid, on July 13, 1985 at the JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA, his philanthropic musical efforts were legendary. Although they missed Live Aid, the Grateful Dead was a band who was there to support many of Graham’s epic benefit concerts.
The Grateful Dead is honored and showcased throughout the Bill Graham Exhibit for their talented musical journey and all the good they’ve done for the world of rock. Be sure to stop into the N-YHS Museum Store where our official, Grateful Dead Sterling Silver Jewelry Collection is showcased with other exhibit memorabilia!
As we work to combat COVID-19, I am reminded of Graham’s monumental efforts to fight for and donate to both domestic and foreign causes. Here at Cynthia Gale New York, we will be donating 20% of online sales at www.cynthiagale.com for the first two weeks of April 2020 to NYC Health + Hospitals. NYC H+H is the largest public health care system in the nation, servicing more than one million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the five boroughs, caring for all regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. Click here to learn more about what this amazing organization is doing: https://nychhc.networkforgood.com/
So if you’ve been holding back on purchasing that CGNY, Grateful Dead piece for yourself or someone special- buy now and help us to battle COVID-19 here at its epicenter in New York City! If everyone gives a little, great things can happen!!