Bill Withers: this sublime 1972 live set proves he was the greatest

Check out this masterclass in honey smooth vocals and the excellent wearing of knitwear

One of the finest voices there ever was, celebrate the life of the late Bill Withers with this stunning performance from German television show Beat-Club, filmed at the peak of his powers in 1972.

The half-hour long set includes Withers’ most famous hits ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and ‘Lean On Me’ as well as the definitive ‘Use Me’. He’s backed by a stellar band that includes Melvin Dunlap (bass),┬áBenorce Blackmon (guitar),┬áRay Jackson (keys) and James Gadson (drums).

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11 minutes into the performance and just before the tender ‘Let Me In Your Life’ Withers announces that he has a cold. And he’s still this good. This is nothing less than a masterclass in honey smooth vocals and the excellent wearing of knitwear.

Withers, who has passed away at the age of 81, was one of the all-time greats of American music, releasing his debut album ‘Just As I Am’ in 1971 while still working his day job as an aircraft assembler. In 2015 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In the above clip Bill Withers plays: ‘Lonely Town, Lonely Street’, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, ‘Use Me’, ‘Let Me In Your Life’, ‘Kissin’ My Love’, ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Harlem’.

 

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