From earthquake to Farm Aid concert, news pictures from here and abroad
It was one heck of a barn raising. Some 55 of America's best-known country and western, rock, pop and blues singers—including the dazzling array shown here—kept 78,000 music fans spellbound for nearly 15 rainy hours at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. The extravaganza was also beamed to 24 million cable subscribers. Billed as Farm Aid, it was patterned after the famine-relief songfest Live Aid. Only this time the focus was on America's financially hurting farmers. (LIFE chronicles the plight of one Nebraska farm family on page 145.) Nearly all the performers chose songs containing references to farmers, country life or America's heartland. Though organizers Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Cougar had hoped the marathon concert would raise $50 million, the actual take was only $10 million. Much of it will go for farmer's legal assistance.