Aug. 1st, 1971 The concert for Bangladesh (or Bangla Desh, as the country was originally spelled) was staged to raise money for victims of famine and war in that country.
Ringo performed his Top-10, self-written single “It Don’t Come Easy”. Rolling Stone magazine printed of Starr’s contribution: “Seeing Ringo Starr drumming and singing on stage has a joy in it that is one of the happiest feelings on earth still.
The single, named after the new country was written by George and released three days before the Harrison-sponsored Concert for Bangladesh shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. the first-ever pop charity single fourteen years before Band Aid and USA for Africa.
George had contacted John Lennon & Paul McCartney to perform at the show. Lennon initially agreed to take part in the concert without his wife and musical partner Yoko Ono, as Harrison had apparently stipulated.
The two Madison Square Garden shows raised US $243,418.50, which was given to UNICEF to administer on 12 August 1971 By December, Capitol Records presented a cheque to Apple Corps for around $3,750,000 for advance sales of the Concert for Bangladeh live album. By 1981, $8.8 million was added to that total
In the 1990s, Harrison said of the Bangladesh relief effort: “Now it’s all settled and the UN own the rights to it themselves, and I think there’s been about 45 million dollars made.” Sales of the DVD and CD of the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh continue to benefit the cause, now known as the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.