Bill Withers in "Soul Power"


Bill Withers from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.

I was lucky enough to see the new documentary "Soul Power" a couple weeks ago. It was shot at Zaire '74, a festival of soul music from the African diaspora that accompanied the Foreman-Ali fight that was the centerpiece of the film When We Were Kings.

It features musical performances from, among others, Celia Cruz & the Fania All-Stars, The Spinners, Miriam Makeba, James Brown and the great Bill Withers.

I can count on one hand the number of musicians as important to me as Bill Withers, and it was an amazing honor to get to speak with him for The Sound of Young America. Bill has been mostly retired for more than twenty years, but he's very healthy and sharp as a tack at 70.

The interview will air next week. In the meantime, enjoy his performance from the film. And go see it when it opens near you in July -- it's AMAZING.


Too cool....

I've had this just sitting on my taskbar for days now, and play it every once in a while. When I saw it in theater, this was THE show-stopping moment for me. Thanks for posting......
Randy in Seattle

Soul Power!

I often will pass Withers' slower songs (even though I Can't Write Left Handed was the song that got me into him) because his funky ones keep me moving in the car, but I just saw Soul Power tonight and this performance was a highlight, even with its slow tempo. I just wish (and this goes for all the musicians) that there was more concert footage of Bill Withers...I can't wait for the DVD to come out with Bonus Material!

I was listening to Bill

I was listening to Bill Withers the other day and remembered how funny his songs are. Can't wait to hear the interview!

this song.

What is the name of this song? Must buy.

"Hope She'll Be Happier,"

"Hope She'll Be Happier," from his spectacular first album "Just As I Am."

"Hope She'll Be Happier" is

"Hope She'll Be Happier" is also on Bill Withers' PLAYLIST which was just released yesterday by Sony Legacy. Amazon has it.

Soul to Soul

Jesse, I assume you've already seen "Soul to Soul," a similar doc filmed in Ghana in 1971? Wilson Pickett rips it up, plus Les McCann, Ike & Tina, the Staples Singers, etc.