Day 18: That’s What Friends Are For

On January 18, 2012, friends helped friends save the Internet – this site doesn’t get enough views for participation in the SOPA Strike to matter, but you should go read up on SOPA and PIPA anyway.

Song: “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne & Friends*
Reached #1: January 18, 1986 (Dionne Warwick’s second, 4 weeks)
*Dionne’s “Friends” were Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder


The song was written for the movie Night Shift by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, and sung by Rod Stewart, and never charted.

Then, as it became clear that AIDS was more than just an obscure “gay man’s disease”, Dionne Warwick wanted to raise awareness – and in the era of Band Aid and USA for Africa, it made sense to raise awareness with a benefit single and a few powerhouse singers.

They wound up raising $3 million for AmFAR (the American Foundation for AIDS Research), which desperately needed the help at the time.

Interesting fact: for Warwick, Knight, and Wonder, this is their last Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit to date. 

Well, I suppose they’ll take that trade – how many lives have the royalties from this song, and all the benefit performances, saved over the years?  That’s probably better than another #1 song, right?

Tomorrow, we set the wayback machine for the late ‘50s…

Other songs that reached #1 on January 18:
1960 –
“Running Bear” by Johnny Preston (his first, 3 weeks)
1975 – “Mandy” by Barry Manilow (his first, 1 week)


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