Tonight CBS presents Play On: Celebrating The Power Of Music To Make Change at 8:00PM ET/PT. Hosted by Kevin Bacon, this special will raise money for WhyHunger as well as the NAACP Legal Defense And Educational Fund and features performances from artists such as LL Cool J, Maren Morris and more.
CBS‘ Matt Weiss spoke to Bacon about his involvement with the special and what viewers can expect.
MW: Kevin, great to speak with you today. Really excited about Play On airing tonight at 8:00pm.What made you want to be a part of this special?
KB: The other producers came to me pretty early on in the in the pandemic and asked me if I wanted to be involved as a host and also come on to help produce it and use my organization sixdegrees.org as kind of a tent pole for the other organizations. Hunger and social injustice are two things that are really on our minds this year. This is a difficult year.
I think there’s this amazing sort of wave in this country that started to point to the reality of how far we have to go in terms of both of these issues. The pandemic has pointed out how intersected they are. You can see it now. Food lines across the country and this tide that swept our nation; people just say that they hadn’t had enough in terms of the social and equities that exist in this country. Combine with that, the power of music, my love of music, and watching artists do the thing that they’re so good at doing. It seemed like it was a good time to get involved.
MW: There’s two organizations that will benefit from the special, can you talk about each of those and why those are so important to you?
KB: WhyHunger is there for a long time it’s actually started by musician Harry Chapin many years ago. They and also the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, both of these organizations have been on the front lines of these very, very important issues. They do incredible work and they really do complement each other in a lot of ways. You see sort of the intersection of hunger and racial inequality. The pandemic has highlighted that as well.
I’m really proud to be part of raising money for these two great organizations. We have a call to action during the show where it’s possible to text and donate or to also go on playonline.org. It’s a tough time for people. It’s a tough time to ask for money from people, I completely get it. I think that if you’re not in a position to be able to give anything that there’s also great messages in a lot of the music.
As it turned out, even though we never really steered our artists to do this, a lot of the songs are for lack of a better word protest songs or at least songs with social conscious. There’s a lot of messaging in the music.
MW: A ton of very talented names, you just touched on a whole bunch of them. Are we going to see any performances from you?
KB: No, I’m not performing I’m just the host. In fact, I even said to my fellow producers, listen if you can find somebody that’s younger and cooler and better looking than me to host you definitely should because I’m happy to step aside. [laughs] Luckily, we have Eve, she ticks all those boxes. Eve is co-hosting with me, but this is a night where I’m just standing back and digging the music.
MW: A great cause, a great message, a chance to raise money. Before I let you go here is there any last message you want to put out there for the fans who will be tuning in tonight?
KB: Groove along. Tap your foot. Listen to the lyrics. See the excitement on the faces of these musicians as they get to do this thing that they’re born to do.
MW: Awesome. Kevin, thank you so much for the time. All the best for the special tonight and stay safe!
KB: Thanks for having me.
Tune in for Play On: Celebrating The Power Of Music To Make Change tonight at 8:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your local listings for more information.