Bill Withers speaks out

Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America features an interview with legendary performer Bill Withers on his most recent podcast.  It is an informative discussion, shedding particular light on Withers’ decision to leave the limelight more than 20 years ago.  While most have called it a “retirement,” in his eyes, it is anything but.

Withers is featured in the film “Soul Power,” a documentary about the 1974 music festival in Kinshasa, Zaire which featured James Brown, B.B. King, Celia Cruz, Withers, and an assortment of R&B legends sharing the stage with performers from the southern part of the continent.  The three-day concert was designed to accompany the Muhammad Ali and George Foreman title bout known as “The Rumble in the Jungle.”  Along with 1971’s “Soul to Soul” concert in Ghana, the performances stand as historic instances of “American” music returning home to its roots, as its most spectacular ambassadors did the same.  “Soul Power” open this week in NY and LA.

Here is Withers performing the song “Hope She’ll Be Happier” from the documentary.

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