Still Bill: The Bill Withers Story


Still Bill: The Bill Withers Story

With concert footage and interviews, an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Lovely Day and Just the Two of Us.


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Transcript


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# Ain't no sunshine when she's gone

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# It's not warm when she's away

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# Ain't no sunshine when she's gone

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# She always gone too long Anytime she goes away

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# Wonder this time where she's gone

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# Wonder if she's gonna stay

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# Ain't no sunshine when she's gone

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# This house just ain't no home anytime she goes away

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# I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

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# I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

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# Hey, I oughta leave the young thing alone

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# But ain't no sunshine when she's gone

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# Anytime she goes away

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# Anytime she goes awa-aay. #

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APPLAUSE

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TV PLAYS

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Can I take us right back to when you first started?

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-How did your recording career come about?

-I saved up some of my own money and recorded myself.

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I had never written any songs,

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I didn't really know how to play anything and I had never sung before. Not really,

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you know, in the shower or some place. But I just...

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decided it would be awfully nice to get into the music business

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and then I just walked around and knocked on everybody's door.

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A lot of times, I would go in, and somebody would say to me,

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"You're too old to be just beginning."

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You know, I was like, 32 years old at the time.

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Most of the major record companies called me up.

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But they had a different idea of how...

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they didn't want me to do anything quiet.

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They had this rhythm and blues syndrome in their mind

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with the horns and the three chicks and the gold lame suit, you know.

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I wasn't really into that, I had a job,

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so I thought, "If they won't let me do it like I want to do it,

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"I've got this good job, making these toilets - I don't need you cats."

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-"Making these toilets"! What kind of toilet were you making?

-For aircraft.

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-Ah!

-Yeah, 747 aircraft.

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I installed cameras in those toilets...

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unbeknownst to anybody but me.

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So if you've ever been to the bathroom on a 747, I know you very well!

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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So...here's all the stuff that I don't know how to work.

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HE CHUCKLES

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I mean, I guess the stuff works, I know how to turn it on, you know.

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I can make lights come on and stuff. Let's see...

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Yeah, I can turn that on...

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And, er...let's see...

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Turn this fan on here to cool that down.

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This thing's been sitting here corroding for about ten years.

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I think I got a speaker thing here...

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Fooling around, let's see.

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I was just playing with all these gadgets.

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DEMOS PLAYING: DRUMS/MUSIC

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I have to be careful that I don't just wallow in my own comfort.

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Probably now, I'm trying to find some kind of motivation or, you know...

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I'm not lazy. I don't even understand.

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I'm trying to give myself a chance to get driven.

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Where just the sheer activity of doing something

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just jacks you up, makes you excited.

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I lived a good portion of my life before I started to play music.

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I had been working at Weber Aircraft and I got laid off.

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Then Ain't No Sunshine started appearing on the radio and stuff.

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It's funny, because I got two requests in the same day -

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I got a letter from my job saying that I was called back to work

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AND I got request to do the Johnny Carson Show.

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APPLAUSE

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I like that song, that was big for you, wasn't it?

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Yeah, that kind of, uh, got me off the ham and eggs thing

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and kind of tightened me up a little bit.

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We mentioned this before, that you were a craftsman

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and you made toilets, right?

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-Oh, yeah, it was a good job, I had a lot of fun doing it.

-LAUGHTER

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-Where does the fun come in, Bill?

-LAUGHTER

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'People in my own family were probably surprised when I was on the radio.

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'People had been in the Navy with,

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'people I had worked in a factory with, people that knew me

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'were probably going, "Wait a minute, is that that same guy?"'

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'If I would have gone to work the next day,'

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and told somebody where I was last night,

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I would have got laughed out of the place.

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All of a sudden, I'm travelling on the road

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and more people are interested in you than before.

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It was just like a whole other world.

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# You just call on me brother

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# When you need a hand

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# We all need somebody to lean on... #

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-Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Bill Withers!

-APPLAUSE

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# ..That you'll understand

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# We all need somebody to lean on

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# Lean on me... #

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Mr Bill Withers.

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# ..when you're not strong

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# And I'll be your friend

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# I'll help you carry on

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# For it won't be long

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# Till I'm gonna need

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# Somebody to lean on... #

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New words started to enter my life

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that had never been there before, like "handsome".

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Boy, you sure do get better-looking when you get a hit record.

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# I want to spread the news

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# That if it feels this good getting used

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# Oh you just keep on using me

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# Hey, hey, until you use me up

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# Hey, hey, until you use me up

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# Hey, hey

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# Talking about you using me but it all depends on what you do

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# It ain't too bad the way you're using me

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# Cos I sure am using you to do that thing you do

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# Hey, hey, to do that thing you do... #

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'I had never been in the entertainment business before.

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'The first live singing I did was in front of 5,000 people.

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'Suddenly, somebody says, "Go to work."'

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Can I get a big round of applause for the one and only Bill Withers!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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# Well, I'm five years old

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# Sure am cold

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# Mama's out cooking steak

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# Cooking steak for someone else... #

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What you see as the prognosis of your career, Bill?

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You know, you'll become a big star, you're becoming a superstar.

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-Do think you can remain just as you are?

-First, I have to become

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-somebody that understands what "prognosis" means!

-INTERVIEWER LAUGHS

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Well, how do you interpret how things are going to go for you?

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Oh, yeah! I'm kinda just lettin' 'em go, you know.

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Lettin' 'em go, and whatever is given to me,

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if I can do it, you know...

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'Two or three years into this, I was in a major mess.'

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The record company actually collapsed from under me.

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Well, IRS came in and took the tapes and sold them.

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Then, when I went to this major, big, mega label,

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you walk in, you play something, somebody goes, "Where are the horns?

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"You got to put some horns on it. How long is the intro?"

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First hit record I had was Ain't No Sunshine. No intro, nothing.

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If nobody throws all them rules at you,

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you might make a song with no introduction.

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Instead of singing about romantic love all the time,

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you make a love song about your grandmother.

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Or you make a friendship song, a la Lean On Me,

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searching through your feelings and your vulnerabilities

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and your strengths and your weaknesses.

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You're already loaded up enough with the burden of just trying

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to find those feelings.

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So then, here comes a whole bunch of guys,

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trying to tell you what to do with all their goofy suggestions...

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They had the R&B black guys,

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and then they got what I like to call "Blacksperts",

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that's the white guys who are supposed to be "experts"...

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you know, who have some kind of tap into your black psyche.

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I had an A&R man once - his big suggestion to me

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was that I cover Elvis Presley's In The Ghetto.

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I was livid,

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and as I started to try to respond to that,

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that simple kind of emotional, vulnerable kind of thing,

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kind of got splattered around.

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APPLAUSE

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I became VERY interested -

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can I still stay in this business and be effective

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'and make a living and not have to play this fame game?

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'I wasn't any good at it. The fame game was kicking my ass.'

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# I see the crystal raindrops fall

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# And see the beauty of it all

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# Is when the sun comes shining through

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# To make those rainbows in my mind

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# When I think of you some time

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# And I want to spend some time with you

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# Just the two of us

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# We can make it if we try

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-# Just the two of us

-Just the two of us

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# Just the two of us

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# Building castles in the sky

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# Just the two of us You and I... #

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I would like to see us move past

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where you need the validation of the mainstream so much...

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until we got away from

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liking ourselves.

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The challenge, though, is still, once you get in that mainstream,

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to not become mainstream.

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That is to say, to remain your authentic self,

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to still make the community that produced you, proud of you.

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To not, in the cultural vernacular, become a sell-out.

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"Sell-out". I'm not crazy about that word...because...

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..we're all entrepreneurs.

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To me...

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..I don't care whether you own a furniture store or whatever,

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the best sign you can put up is, "Sold out".

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-So let's... C-C-Can we make that...

-THEY LAUGH

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Can we make that subservient?

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THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER

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It is a profound point. One, it's a Shakespearian point.

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"To thine own self be true.

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"If night follows the day, thou can be false to no-one."

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You have been true to yourself.

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You don't sound like Paul Simon on the guitar, you're Bill Withers

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because you come out of your roots.

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When you sing Grandma's Hands, talking about Matty,

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and talking about grandma taking care of local, unwed mothers

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in Virginia, West Virginia, that's real.

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That's being yourself.

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At the same time, in being yourself, you're able to cross over

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into a white mainstream, and they had to accept you on your own terms.

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You see, looking at this thing is...

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..not new.

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Oh, boy, these pages are really...

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Well, I guess this was brothers and sisters I had that never lived.

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I was the last of 13 kids that my mother had.

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I guess I wasn't born yet, so I'm not in here anywhere.

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Grackus Monroe Galloway was my mother's father.

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He was born a slave.

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He was probably nine years old when they freed the slaves.

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He worked in the coal mines but he would never work for the coal company.

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He hauled coal... Here's Grandma.

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Now, I took this picture when I was a kid,

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so you can see what year it was by the car.

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'Most of us at some point in our lives'

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have somebody that means more to us than anyone else that's ever meant before or will ever mean again.

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Sometimes it's a long-legged lady, if you're a man,

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or some tall, very smooth man if you're a woman.

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But in my case I learned how to really love somebody

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from just a nice old lady.

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My favourite thing that I've written

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has to be about this favourite old lady of mine.

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# Mm-mm, mm-mm

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# Mm-mm

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# Mm-mm... #

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-I'm from Slab Fork, West Virginia. You know where that is, right?

-No!

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-Is that any place near Bluefield?

-Yeah, it's near Bluefield.

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-About 30 or 40 miles, I guess, from Bluefield.

-Slab Fork, West Virginia?

-Yeah.

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# Mm-mm, mm-mm

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# Mm-mm

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# Grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning

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# Grandma's hands played a tambourine so well

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# Grandma's hands used to issue out a warning

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# She's say "Billy, don't you run so fast

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# "Might fall on a piece of glass

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# "Might be snakes there in that grass"

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# Grandma's hands

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# Ah, them Grandma's hands

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# Mm-mm,

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# Mm-mm... #

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Hey, CV.

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-This is the mayor here, this is Mayor, CV.

-How you doing?

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CV's running the things. I'm good, man.

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CV was talking to my daughter and he was telling her, you know,

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"Let me tell you about your great-grandmother."

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-And so CV remembers her.

-Grandmother Galloway.

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She was a very elegant woman.

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She sat on this porch

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and she would sing spirituals right on that porch and clap her hands.

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-Remember they called it gettin' happy.

-Right, right, right!

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There's a saying, "the sleepy smiling South

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-"with blood on its mouth."

-Right, right.

-Well, we weren't in THAT South.

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This was South, in a way.

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Like, when we grew up, you didn't have to sit on the back of the bus.

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-Right, right.

-But we had separate schools.

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You had to go to the back door if you wanted a milkshake or something from one of the restaurants uptown.

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-Right.

-But the kids, left to our own devices, we played, now...

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-We sat here... That was the dividing line.

-Right.

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We were the only two black families on this side of the railroad track.

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Well, we just integrated the whole thing by ourselves.

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I think all of the black families basically, like it or not,

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most of us had white people in our families.

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You know, after you did a day's work in the coal mines,

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-everybody was black anyway!

-Yeah, yeah, well, that's true.

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-That's true.

-Wasn't nothing BUT black people here!

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'I haven't been to Slab Fork since about 1959.

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'Nobody's back there. There's nothing there much except graves,

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'and old coal mines.'

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And I'm really not too hung up on going and laying flowers on dead people.

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L-Let me b-be very candid about it. This was a white graveyard.

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This is a black graveyard.

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-Hey, Bill Withers.

-Yeah?

-What was your brother's name?

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-His name was Earl Martin.

-Here he is right here.

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-OK.

-Earl W Martin.

-Yeah, that's my brother.

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Well, they give him a nice stone. Where do you see those number...

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Oh, 1942...

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-Do you vaguely remember any location about where your father would be?

-No.

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And I don't know whether he would be buried close to Earl or not.

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Yeah, well, Papa, well, yeah. Hello, bud. I'll catch you somethin' later.

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My father taught me, you know... He put the work thing in my head.

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My mother put the moral thing in my head.

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My father used to have a little barber shop here

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and he wasn't a good barber but he told great stories.

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# Just can't keep from crying

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# Six years, Lucy

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# Lord, have mercy That's a long time

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# That's a long time... #

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All these houses were owned by the coal company

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and they all looked the same.

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-Absolutely.

-They've probably done stuff to 'em now.

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-The company owned everything.

-Which was one family.

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The coal company got your money, they paid you,

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then you had to shop...

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You shopped in their store. Now, this was the old store.

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-Yeah, company store.

-You could buy everything at this store.

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Now, this is an exceptional coal camp from the standpoint that

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it still have enough life to have some people living here.

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They had a lot of churches. They had a Baptist church, then they had a Methodist church somewhere.

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And then they had your Holy and Sanctified Church.

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CONGREGATION: # Remember me... #

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I liked my grandmother's church. It was spontaneous singing.

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There was no programmed singing.

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Somebody got up and started to sing a song, everybody sung.

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It was my favourite kind of singing.

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# Remember me

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# Oh, Lord

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# Remember me... #

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-Well, we have walked these railroad ties, huh, CV?

-Yeah.

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Now, if you want to test how skilful you are, walk this.

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Remember that used to be the thing, who could walk the rail?

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-If you can walk the rail...

-The furthest.

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-See, that's how to test how skilful you are.

-Look at you.

-Yeah.

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-I still can walk it.

-You doing tricks and stuff.

-Yeah.

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You see, that's how skilful.

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-If you break out a handstand, I'm leaving tonight.

-CV LAUGHS

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I'm telling you, this was like, life, busy, busy.

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Summertime come, we'd go around,

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-dam up the creek, get buck naked.

-And go swimming.

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Go swimming, and so the girls would time you out,

0:20:570:21:00

-say, "Well, it's about swimming time," then the girls would come down there.

-Yeah.

0:21:000:21:05

And stand on the side

0:21:050:21:07

so you couldn't get out of the water until they left.

0:21:070:21:10

-Right!

-So it was just a whole culture of stuff like that.

0:21:100:21:13

It's an amazing thing, when you look back,

0:21:130:21:16

and you realise that...the world changed completely around you.

0:21:160:21:22

-It's gone, brother. This has gone.

-You're seeing what used to be.

0:21:220:21:26

-So we are truly the last of a...

-Yeah, we getting there.

-..of a breed.

0:21:260:21:29

Yeah, we getting there.

0:21:290:21:31

-Hey, Bill.

-Yeah?

-Sing it one time for me.

0:21:310:21:33

# Ain't no sunshine when she's gone. #

0:21:330:21:36

You already hit it. I can't hit it like you no more.

0:21:360:21:39

Let me ask you, do you do any... Do you go on any tours at all now?

0:21:390:21:43

-The first thing you said to me was, "You look like an old man."

-Right!

0:21:430:21:47

So, now, how could you tell me in one breath that

0:21:470:21:50

I look like an old man and then in the second breath tell me,

0:21:500:21:53

-"You ought to be out on the road, playing rock'n'roll"?

-No.

0:21:530:21:56

I have never understood how you entertainers could be on the road

0:21:560:22:01

and do every-other-night or one-night stands.

0:22:010:22:05

I don't understand it either, that's how come I ain't doing it!

0:22:050:22:09

'I've had people ask me that question a lot.

0:22:140:22:17

'You know, "How could you just stop?"

0:22:170:22:19

'Well, to me, it wasn't stopping anything.

0:22:190:22:22

'It was doing something else.'

0:22:220:22:24

I mean, I like music, but I'm not going to place my whole worth on it.

0:22:240:22:29

You know how unhappy you would be

0:22:290:22:31

if you thought that the way you are is not OK?

0:22:310:22:34

I started out my life like that. I don't want to end it up like that.

0:22:340:22:38

OK, we're on our way to get... a birthday cake.

0:22:420:22:47

I'm getting just a "7-0".

0:22:470:22:49

I don't want him to have to struggle to blow out 70 candles.

0:22:490:22:53

We are putting this here.

0:22:570:23:00

-This doesn't seem very formal, but...

-Doug.

-Yeah?

-You cool?

0:23:000:23:06

Yeah.

0:23:060:23:07

But we still have to celebrate.

0:23:080:23:12

We would love you to make a gigantic wish and blow out your candles.

0:23:120:23:15

You don't have to divulge the wish but we'd love you to make a wish.

0:23:150:23:20

THEY CLAP AND WHOOP

0:23:200:23:24

'I'm a senior citizen.'

0:23:240:23:26

That's OK with me.

0:23:270:23:29

'I'm OK with my grey hair and my... you know, my narrowing shoulders.'

0:23:290:23:35

To the Country Inn.

0:23:350:23:36

'The most important thing is to be OK, you know.

0:23:360:23:40

'I just want to feel good.

0:23:400:23:43

'I know what it feels like not to feel all right.

0:23:430:23:46

'You know, guilt and regret, aches and pains.

0:23:460:23:50

'I'd really like to learn to accept everything before I die.'

0:23:500:23:55

-Hey, Bill.

-Hey, man, how you doing? Look out! Jimmy!

-What's going on?

0:23:550:24:01

How you doing? Boy, you still look like a teenager. How you doing?

0:24:010:24:05

-Good seeing you, Bill.

-You too, man, you too.

-It must be your son.

-Yep.

0:24:050:24:10

Looks just like you!

0:24:100:24:12

How are you doing, man? How's everything? How's everything going?

0:24:120:24:16

I'm his daughter, but last time I remember you, you held me on your lap.

0:24:160:24:20

-We went over to your mom's house.

-Yeah. How you doing, sugar?

0:24:200:24:24

Well, you could still sit on there. You know, not too long, though.

0:24:240:24:28

# When I wake up in the morning, love... #

0:24:280:24:32

-Great to see you, how you doing?

-I'm so glad to see you, girl.

0:24:340:24:38

# And something without warning, love... #

0:24:380:24:40

Yeah, girl, come here. How you doing?

0:24:400:24:43

I'm fine. This is Delores.

0:24:430:24:46

# Then I look at you

0:24:460:24:49

# And the world's all right with me... #

0:24:490:24:54

-You're looking good, man.

-Thank you. You're looking great!

0:24:560:25:00

-I actually turned 70 today.

-Oh, wow.

0:25:000:25:03

'Some people are just born cool. They'd been cool all their lives, you know.

0:25:030:25:08

'Well, I hadn't been cool all my life.

0:25:080:25:11

'I was an asthmatic stutterer as a kid.

0:25:110:25:13

'One popular thing is, "Spit it out! Spit it out!"

0:25:130:25:17

'And then they have all these folky kind of cures,

0:25:170:25:19

'like hitting you in the face with a dishrag or something, you know what I mean.

0:25:190:25:23

'Really stupid stuff. You know.'

0:25:230:25:26

I grew up with, "You can't do nothing."

0:25:260:25:29

One teacher said to me once that I was handicapped.

0:25:290:25:33

And I didn't like that word.

0:25:330:25:36

So any dreams that I had, I kept them to myself.

0:25:360:25:39

Once you're labelled sort of a less-than person, it gave me

0:25:390:25:44

this crisis of confidence.

0:25:440:25:48

I just wanted to leave. And then go and start over with some new people.

0:25:480:25:53

The Navy, at that age, you know, 17, seemed like somewhere to go.

0:25:570:26:02

# If you don't look into your mind

0:26:020:26:07

# And find out what you're running from

0:26:070:26:10

# Tomorrow might be just another day to run... #

0:26:100:26:17

These are my old Navy buddies. I've known these guys since I was...

0:26:180:26:23

21.

0:26:230:26:25

We all met in Guam.

0:26:250:26:27

There was not much for us to do socially,

0:26:270:26:30

so it was frustrating, because you got all these young guys, you know,

0:26:300:26:33

who had all this testosterone.

0:26:330:26:36

'And there was nowhere for them to go.'

0:26:360:26:39

Good old Bill.

0:26:390:26:41

This is the man.

0:26:410:26:42

'You know what they told me about Guam?'

0:26:420:26:45

The guy says, "Oh, you're going to Guam.

0:26:450:26:47

"There's a woman behind every tree.

0:26:470:26:50

"There's only two trees." LAUGHTER

0:26:500:26:53

It was hard on a brother in Guam. It was funny times.

0:26:550:26:59

-That was a whole lot of life real fast. You know?

-Yeah.

0:26:590:27:02

On the way over I was thinking...

0:27:020:27:04

When I first seen you,

0:27:040:27:05

didn't you bring a guitar to Guam?

0:27:050:27:09

-No. No. I never owned a guitar until 1970 or something.

-Is that right?

0:27:090:27:15

Yeah, I don't know an F Sharp from Ninth Street.

0:27:150:27:19

And when you got there you found that little old bar.

0:27:190:27:22

You were singing Johnny Mathis, more so.

0:27:220:27:26

-Or whatever the piano player could play.

-Is that right?

0:27:260:27:29

Couple of drinks, man, everybody, you know... You start singing.

0:27:290:27:33

Shoot. Yeah.

0:27:330:27:36

But I still hadn't given it any thought as to making a living out of it.

0:27:360:27:40

# When you appeared in my imagination... #

0:27:400:27:48

He's always been just Bill Withers to me.

0:27:490:27:52

I'm sure that's what you feel too.

0:27:520:27:54

I don't think he would want it any different.

0:27:540:27:56

'My real life was when I was just a working guy.

0:27:560:28:00

'Just in the Navy, just a mechanic, you know what I mean.

0:28:000:28:05

'But the true measure of any group of people is,

0:28:050:28:08

'how are the ones that are just people?'

0:28:080:28:11

# You were here in my memory

0:28:110:28:14

# And I love you now that you're here. #

0:28:150:28:22

-I was an aircraft mechanic, in the Navy nine years.

-Is that right?

0:28:250:28:30

I can do masonry and all these things. Now...

0:28:300:28:33

Were you writing songs while doing that?

0:28:340:28:37

I've written songs working at McDonnell Douglas.

0:28:370:28:42

Use Me, you know, working on the airplane, and things.

0:28:420:28:45

THEY LAUGH

0:28:450:28:47

-Grandma's Hands, Weber Aircraft in Burbank.

-Is that right?

0:28:470:28:52

You understand what I'm saying?

0:28:520:28:54

You're working on the thing and singing it over and over

0:28:540:28:58

to yourself so you don't forget it before you get home.

0:28:580:29:01

Wow.

0:29:010:29:02

You know what's funny?

0:29:020:29:04

People say, "He wrote that song about that woman."

0:29:040:29:07

I didn't know none of them damn women when I was writing them songs.

0:29:070:29:10

I couldn't get no women,

0:29:100:29:12

I was making 3 an hour working in the damn thing!

0:29:120:29:16

'Uno, dos, tres, cuatro.'

0:29:160:29:18

I was 23 years old, I was a graduate student, UCLA, working on my MBA.

0:29:220:29:28

And my sister and I decided we wanted... Actually, it was me.

0:29:290:29:33

I wanted to go see Gil Scott-Heron.

0:29:330:29:36

There's a vacant table. She said, "Let's go sit there." "It says reserved."

0:29:380:29:42

Lo and behold, it was Bill sitting there, which I didn't know.

0:29:420:29:47

She recognised him. That's how I met him.

0:29:470:29:50

I wasn't starstruck at all. He was this regular, normal person.

0:29:550:29:59

He was interesting and was interested in me.

0:29:590:30:03

# When I'm kissing my love

0:30:040:30:07

# Thump-a-thumping in my head

0:30:070:30:11

# Now, when I'm kissing my love

0:30:140:30:17

# I close my eyes and see

0:30:170:30:19

# A pretty city with a million flowers in it. #

0:30:190:30:24

A lot of men can't express what they're feeling, and he can.

0:30:240:30:28

He can, you know, he's sensitive but tough.

0:30:280:30:31

# Put your foot on the rock and put your foot, don't stop

0:30:310:30:34

# Put your foot on the rock

0:30:340:30:36

# Put your foot on the rock I know you just can't stop

0:30:360:30:39

# Put your foot on the rock

0:30:390:30:41

# When I'm kissing my love

0:30:410:30:44

# Feel the blood pumping in my veins

0:30:440:30:47

# Now, when I'm kissing my love

0:30:510:30:54

# She's such a tender sender

0:30:540:30:56

# With her sweet young frame

0:30:560:31:00

# Ah, ha, ha

0:31:000:31:04

# She's so good at what she does

0:31:040:31:06

# All she wants to do is kiss and hug

0:31:060:31:08

# She's got me in love and I can feel my heart

0:31:080:31:13

# Just pumping and skipping

0:31:130:31:14

# When I'm kissing my love. #

0:31:140:31:18

As soon as I figured out who I was, I married an MBA. Know what I mean?

0:31:180:31:23

The one thing about Marcia, she's an optimist in the face of everything.

0:31:230:31:31

We live a life that is comfortable and simple,

0:31:310:31:35

and I think Bill never really wanted these riches and material things.

0:31:350:31:40

When the kids came along, he was home a lot.

0:31:400:31:43

He didn't do a lot of touring.

0:31:430:31:45

There were times when I'm sure he missed being in the business,

0:31:450:31:48

making music, but I think that it was more important for him

0:31:480:31:52

to have a life and a family.

0:31:520:31:55

He'd never had a family before.

0:31:550:31:57

He had his mother, but his dad died when he was 13,

0:31:570:32:00

and it was really important for him to be a father to the kids.

0:32:000:32:04

# I get a warm summer feeling

0:32:170:32:23

# Walking through the snow

0:32:230:32:27

# Even chilly darkness

0:32:270:32:32

# Has the brightest glow

0:32:320:32:36

# And I just love you so. #

0:32:360:32:44

From very early on, my father played a lot of music at home.

0:32:440:32:48

Music was never something that was pushed, it was just there.

0:32:480:32:51

We had two pianos at home, on opposite sides of the house.

0:32:510:32:54

It certainly was something that blended the family together,

0:32:540:32:58

it was something we all shared.

0:32:580:33:01

-You're the navigator.

-OK.

-You're getting the tour.

0:33:010:33:06

-'This was Todd's big day, accepted into this law school.'

-Exciting!

0:33:060:33:11

'It's exciting for him and for us.

0:33:110:33:15

'I really learned about this whole family thing from Marcia.

0:33:150:33:19

'I think the older you get,'

0:33:190:33:21

the more your concerns shift from you to other people.

0:33:210:33:26

So, Todd, do I have to start calling you mister in a couple years?

0:33:260:33:32

Growing up listening to my dad's songs was just

0:33:320:33:36

the most peaceful space I remember being able to have as a child.

0:33:360:33:40

He kind of speaks in little poems.

0:33:400:33:43

You know, the sky is blue, and I'm happy to see you.

0:33:430:33:46

You know, he'd just pull it out of anywhere.

0:33:460:33:49

Quit crying and start trying.

0:33:490:33:52

A lot of times he says, "Write this down. Get a pencil."

0:33:520:33:56

I'm sure my mother has hundreds of little pieces of paper

0:33:560:34:00

all over the house, not even full songs, but two lines.

0:34:000:34:03

Just a thought.

0:34:030:34:07

Sometimes he'll call me just to say,

0:34:070:34:09

"I was thinking this and want you to make a note of it."

0:34:090:34:12

Then some of these things make it into Songville.

0:34:120:34:15

Growing up, I always wanted to be just like my dad, really.

0:34:180:34:21

When I started writing songs, it just took a lot of courage to say

0:34:210:34:26

that's really, secretly, what I want to do.

0:34:260:34:29

# Paint a portrait of tomorrow

0:34:290:34:34

# With no colours from today. #

0:34:340:34:39

I always wanted to write, but I always thought,

0:34:390:34:42

"How could I ever come close to doing the things he did?"

0:34:420:34:45

Just because I know I'm a different person.

0:34:450:34:48

I knew I wasn't going to sit down the first time I picked up a guitar

0:34:480:34:52

and write Ain't No Sunshine, but I know what he thinks is good.

0:34:520:34:57

I didn't want to share anything with him.

0:34:570:34:59

I ended up playing something for him when I wasn't ready,

0:34:590:35:02

and he was just, "No, this is not happening."

0:35:020:35:04

It was hard for me because I needed him to just be my dad and say,

0:35:040:35:09

"I'm proud of you working on something,

0:35:090:35:12

"I'm excited about your journey."

0:35:120:35:14

It was none of that.

0:35:140:35:16

One thing I always tell my kids, it's OK to hit out for wonderful,

0:35:210:35:26

but on your way to wonderful, you have to pass through all right.

0:35:260:35:30

When you get to all right, take a good look around

0:35:300:35:34

and get used to it, cos that may be as far as you go.

0:35:340:35:37

Most people don't know or don't care who you are.

0:35:370:35:42

I think I'm kind of like pennies.

0:35:420:35:45

You have them in your pocket but don't remember they're there.

0:35:450:35:48

Nobody knows who I am.

0:35:500:35:51

Sometimes if I tell somebody who I am, they'll say, "No, you ain't!"

0:35:510:35:56

Or people don't know, never did and don't care.

0:35:560:35:59

I don't work the circuit where you keep reminding people of you,

0:36:000:36:04

you know?

0:36:040:36:05

This is my first tribute kind-of-thing.

0:36:050:36:10

We're here tonight for Bill Withers and his amazing catalogue of music.

0:36:110:36:16

An amazing vocalist, songwriter, musician,

0:36:160:36:20

and someone I've loved and appreciated for many years.

0:36:200:36:24

So congratulations, Bill, and for you for coming out to support him.

0:36:240:36:29

Brooklyn's own Corey Glover!

0:36:310:36:33

# A man we passed just tried to stare me down

0:36:330:36:41

# And when I looked at you, you looked at the ground

0:36:430:36:49

# Now, I don't know who he is, but I think that you do. #

0:36:520:36:58

Y'all know this one.

0:36:580:37:01

# Dag gummit, who is he and what is he to you? #

0:37:010:37:07

# Memories take you back to the good times

0:37:220:37:28

# When it's over

0:37:280:37:30

# And the sad times disappear. #

0:37:300:37:34

It would be kind of rough to just go out there and say,

0:37:360:37:39

"I want to see how many people I can make notice me."

0:37:390:37:42

There was a time when that was it.

0:37:420:37:46

I wanted everybody to look at me, to want to know me.

0:37:460:37:49

There was a time for that.

0:37:510:37:53

This is not that time.

0:37:550:37:57

What if I had to get up from here right now,

0:37:570:38:00

and about nine o'clock tonight, start trying to kick up a ruckus?

0:38:000:38:05

I'm not feeling that way.

0:38:070:38:09

No matter how many people say, "You should feel that way." I can't.

0:38:090:38:15

If I was completely honest with myself,

0:38:150:38:18

I'm probably a little manic-depressive.

0:38:180:38:20

That's why I might write some songs that might reach somebody else's emotions, cos I have some.

0:38:200:38:27

I have my own.

0:38:270:38:29

Wouldn't it be fun to all of a sudden jump up

0:38:290:38:32

and start shaking it around?

0:38:320:38:35

That'd be something.

0:38:350:38:37

If I just had some showing-off steroids, man,

0:38:370:38:40

you would get tired of me, you know what I mean?

0:38:400:38:46

I want to. I want to.

0:38:460:38:49

I watch other people show off, and I say,

0:38:490:38:52

"Man, I used to want to show off."

0:38:520:38:54

If I could just get moved to.

0:38:540:38:58

I need a little injection in my showing-off gland.

0:38:590:39:02

# Memories are that way... #

0:39:050:39:08

Is he going to sing again? What's he doing?

0:39:080:39:11

I'd love to see Bill sing another record.

0:39:110:39:14

There's millions of people that would love to hear

0:39:140:39:17

Bill Withers again.

0:39:170:39:19

If he wants to do it, fine.

0:39:200:39:22

If he don't want to, I respect that too,

0:39:220:39:24

because what he's been through, with the record business

0:39:240:39:27

and his life, to come through it, I may not want to sing again neither.

0:39:270:39:32

In some ways I think it's really cool he hasn't made a record since 1985.

0:39:320:39:37

If he feels like he's got nothing to say, or he wants to

0:39:370:39:40

focus on his family, you've got to define your priorities for yourself.

0:39:400:39:45

For me, it shows the artist that he is.

0:39:450:39:49

Not only about money, it's about the beauty of the song.

0:39:490:39:52

For him not to write a song or album for 23 years, from me to him,

0:39:520:39:58

I say, respect.

0:39:580:40:01

It would be great to do some stuff with Bill again.

0:40:010:40:04

It would be, you know, I've always thought about that.

0:40:040:40:08

We haven't played together for 30 years.

0:40:080:40:10

In my career, that was probably the best times that I had.

0:40:100:40:14

No telling what might happen.

0:40:140:40:16

Bill might pop up in the next studio doing something.

0:40:160:40:20

He's always doing something, don't think Bill's not recording.

0:40:200:40:24

He's doing something, writing. It's in his blood.

0:40:240:40:27

Just like it's in mine to play this guitar. It's in his blood to write.

0:40:270:40:32

Something might pop up. I stay optimistic.

0:40:320:40:35

Until then, I'll keep on grooving.

0:40:350:40:38

The hardest thing to be in songwriting is to be simple

0:40:380:40:42

yet profound.

0:40:420:40:44

It's difficult, it's a very difficult artform.

0:40:440:40:48

Some people have it intrinsically, some have to work very hard,

0:40:480:40:53

but Bill seemed to understand intrinsically, instinctively,

0:40:530:40:58

how to do that.

0:40:580:41:00

Bill Withers could work a lot and make a whole lot of money

0:41:000:41:03

if he wanted to do that, but I don't think he's comfortable doing that.

0:41:030:41:07

People call me all the time, "Can I get Bill?"

0:41:070:41:09

I say, "Don't call me, cos I don't think he's going to do it."

0:41:090:41:13

DREAMY SYNTH MUSIC PLAYS

0:41:130:41:16

SYNTH INSTRUMENTAL OBSCURES SINGING

0:41:160:41:20

We are so remiss in over-valuing entertainers,

0:41:310:41:37

of which I am one, no problem.

0:41:370:41:41

And athletes, and undervaluing the people among us

0:41:410:41:47

who have less obvious gifts.

0:41:470:41:49

Let me ask you this question about your own legacy,

0:41:490:41:52

both personally, as a human being, and as a great artist,

0:41:520:41:58

what would you want your legacy to be?

0:41:580:42:01

I'm in New York because I have the pleasure of being honoured

0:42:160:42:19

by the Our Time Theatre Group, for kids who stutter.

0:42:190:42:23

It's a great thing, very close to my heart.

0:42:230:42:25

Having navigated through my youth and well into my adulthood

0:42:250:42:32

dealing with that issue,

0:42:320:42:35

it's fun to, you know,

0:42:350:42:37

see this thing grow.

0:42:370:42:39

APPLAUSE

0:42:390:42:41

I grew up in a place called Slab Fork, West Virginia,

0:42:500:42:54

I'm sure you've been there on many vacations...

0:42:540:42:56

LAUGHTER

0:42:560:42:58

Swam in our creek.

0:42:580:43:00

No disrespect to Slab Fork, it's a coal-mining camp.

0:43:000:43:05

And stuttering is rough for kids, but stuttering in Slab Fork, West Virginia -

0:43:050:43:10

let's just say you don't go to Slab Fork on the scholarship.

0:43:100:43:13

When you're a kid you want to be cool, and you want to be cool with the cool people.

0:43:140:43:20

And that doesn't always happen, so if you can learn to value the people who value you.

0:43:210:43:27

And I was very moved when I saw these kids

0:43:270:43:30

talking about how much they meant to each other.

0:43:300:43:33

I am honoured to be honoured, and let's hope

0:43:330:43:36

that each kid finds his own personal comfort zone,

0:43:360:43:43

where he can grow, and nurture whatever gifts that he might have

0:43:430:43:47

because if you take away the people who stutter

0:43:470:43:51

from the world, you're left with a whole bunch of chatty...

0:43:510:43:56

LAUGHTER

0:43:560:43:57

Fill in your own word.

0:44:030:44:06

The kids are so excited, I've been playing your music,

0:44:090:44:12

-and they cannot wait to meet you and talk with you.

-Yeah...

0:44:120:44:16

-You are a role model for me, and for them.

-Oh, thank you, bud. Let's go see 'em.

0:44:160:44:21

-Right here.

-All right...

-Come on in.

0:44:210:44:23

-OK...

-Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Mr Bill Withers!

0:44:230:44:28

Our Time kids, feel free to come up and introduce yourself.

0:44:330:44:37

Yeah.

0:44:370:44:39

Hi, my name is Victoria.

0:44:390:44:40

Hi, sweetie.

0:44:400:44:43

-Tanya.

-Hi, sweetie.

-Nice to meet you.

0:44:430:44:46

How you feeling, bud? My man.

0:44:470:44:50

What's your name?

0:44:500:44:51

-Er...Joe.

-All right, Joe.

0:44:510:44:55

You know, what I noticed when we were meeting is,

0:44:550:44:59

it's almost like fingerprints.

0:44:590:45:01

We each have our own style of stutterings, which makes us unique.

0:45:010:45:06

I really identified with people who stop at their name.

0:45:060:45:10

Last night this friend of mine, who's a fairly well-known painter,

0:45:100:45:14

had this thing, so there were a lot of athletes

0:45:140:45:18

and people that I had seen in my life,

0:45:180:45:20

so I wanted to say hello to everybody and introduce myself.

0:45:200:45:24

And I went over to this one guy, and man, I got stuck.

0:45:240:45:29

And it brought back memories, because there was a woman with him

0:45:290:45:33

and she started to laugh.

0:45:330:45:36

It was fear. Fear of the perception of the listener.

0:45:360:45:41

This fear that makes us

0:45:420:45:43

apprehensive right at the point of trying to speak,

0:45:430:45:47

that stops us.

0:45:470:45:49

Well, one of the ways to deal with the fear is to approach people

0:45:490:45:53

with a prepared forgiveness.

0:45:530:45:56

We have to be more civil than most people that we will encounter.

0:45:560:46:01

Having had people not understand me a lot

0:46:010:46:05

maybe helped me wait a little beat to where I can extend

0:46:050:46:08

something that hasn't been given to me.

0:46:080:46:11

And I think that makes you a much bigger person.

0:46:110:46:14

We are thrilled to have you here,

0:46:140:46:16

and everything that you said just means so much to me personally,

0:46:160:46:19

and we'd love to sing for you today.

0:46:190:46:22

I would have been insulted if you would have not done.

0:46:220:46:25

LAUGHTER

0:46:250:46:27

# Sometimes I feel like everyone's always ignoring me

0:46:270:46:33

# Sometimes I feel like everyone's always ridiculing me

0:46:360:46:43

# All I want in this whole world

0:46:450:46:49

# Is to be myself, and nobody else

0:46:490:46:54

# All I want in this whole world

0:46:540:46:58

# Is love, is love

0:46:580:47:02

# Is love

0:47:020:47:04

# All I want

0:47:040:47:07

# In this world

0:47:070:47:09

# Is love

0:47:090:47:12

# All I want

0:47:120:47:16

# In this world

0:47:160:47:18

# Is love

0:47:180:47:21

# All I want

0:47:210:47:24

# In this world

0:47:240:47:27

# Is love. #

0:47:270:47:30

I understood what you meant, you know.

0:47:390:47:42

There's an old Southern saying that says, you know,

0:47:420:47:45

it don't sound right if it ain't said right.

0:47:450:47:49

You know. So you guys are saying, your feeling's right, so just keep doing that.

0:47:490:47:55

And er... it's really a big favour to me,

0:47:550:48:00

for you guys to remind me of some things that maybe I had forgotten.

0:48:000:48:04

And maybe to show me some things that I didn't know.

0:48:050:48:08

So you guys are...are cool.

0:48:100:48:12

APPLAUSE AND WHOOPING

0:48:120:48:15

And next time I see you I probably won't be this nice.

0:48:300:48:33

LAUGHTER

0:48:330:48:35

We have to make allowances for each other!

0:48:350:48:39

Thoreau I think said the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

0:48:530:48:59

I would like to know how it feels for my desperation to get louder.

0:48:590:49:03

Yes, Raul Midon, please.

0:49:100:49:14

-'Hello.'

-Hello, Raul.

-'Yes.'

0:49:140:49:16

-It's Bill Withers. How you doing, bud?

-'Oh, good.'

0:49:160:49:20

I was hoping that at some point or another, you know,

0:49:200:49:24

that you would maybe have just a little time

0:49:240:49:27

so we could just mess around, you know?

0:49:270:49:29

Just you and me, you know, we could plonk around,

0:49:290:49:33

-I'll even break out my old Linn drum machine...

-Raul LAUGHS

0:49:330:49:37

-..make some noise, you know what I mean?

-'I don't know what to say.

0:49:370:49:41

'I'm just so happy that you're interested

0:49:410:49:43

'and, man, I'd love to put our heads together.'

0:49:430:49:46

-I'd like to try something out on you, Raul.

-'OK.'

0:49:460:49:50

Because I've always wanted to write something in Spanish.

0:49:500:49:55

I had a friend, a Cuban friend. And we worked together

0:49:550:49:59

and we laughed all the time, and it was just great.

0:49:590:50:03

-And I really miss him, you know?

-'Yeah.'

0:50:030:50:07

What I was thinking, to start off, "Mi amigo Cubano, hola, como esta?

0:50:070:50:13

"Que paso, mi hermano", and I don't know whether you would say "tu"

0:50:150:50:19

or "usted" there, but one or the other. I'll just say "tu y yo no mas hablar."

0:50:190:50:24

'Yeah, "tu", definitely, because you're good friends.'

0:50:240:50:27

Now your background is what, Raul?

0:50:270:50:30

'My background is my mother was African-American

0:50:300:50:34

'and my father is Argentinian.

0:50:340:50:37

'When I lived in Miami, I got very deeply involved in Cuban music,

0:50:370:50:42

'the music of guaguanco. In guaguanco, everything goes together

0:50:420:50:46

'so there's the clave, right?' Raul TAPS A RHYTHM

0:50:460:50:49

-OK.

-'And then it goes boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom,

0:50:490:50:54

'boom boom boom boom, you know?

0:50:540:50:56

'As you're doing all that, you sing, and you keep all that going.

0:50:560:51:00

'# Ae, ae, ae la chambelona

0:51:000:51:04

'# Ae, ae, ae la chambelona

0:51:040:51:08

RAUL SINGS AT PACE IN SPANISH

0:51:080:51:13

-You know what I'm saying?'

-Yeah, Raul. Yeah, man,

0:51:130:51:17

We're going to use all that stuff you know, Raul.

0:51:170:51:21

That's about all the preview I would like to do on that.

0:51:210:51:26

Let's just walk in with a blank sheet of paper

0:51:260:51:28

and see what we can mark on it.

0:51:280:51:30

-'Sounds good to me.'

-Yeah.

0:51:300:51:33

# Sometimes a song is funky

0:51:330:51:36

# Cos you feel that way

0:51:360:51:39

# A song might be easy and melancholy on another day

0:51:390:51:45

# Sometimes a song gets mean and evil

0:51:450:51:48

# Cos it ain't going right

0:51:480:51:52

# Sometimes a song just might get nervous

0:51:520:51:54

# Cos you might be uptight. #

0:51:540:51:56

I don't even know what chords he has for it, you know,

0:51:560:51:59

so it's all going to be kind of a question of openness.

0:51:590:52:04

I'm going to bring what I have to the table and hopefully, you know,

0:52:040:52:08

come up with something. I mean, I just felt very honoured.

0:52:080:52:12

Dad?

0:52:120:52:14

# Sometimes a song is tender, sometimes a song is sad. #

0:52:140:52:17

Raul! Hey, bud.

0:52:170:52:19

# Maybe that evening that you wrote the song

0:52:190:52:21

# That's all the feeling you had. #

0:52:210:52:23

How you doing, Raul? Let's walk to the studio.

0:52:230:52:25

# Sometimes a song just feels real good

0:52:250:52:27

# And lays right there in the groove. #

0:52:270:52:30

-Feels like a studio.

-Yeah?

0:52:300:52:35

I'm going to be largely dependent on you because I have no skills, Raul.

0:52:350:52:41

-See, you're the virtuoso.

-I'm...

-No, I'm serious.

0:52:410:52:44

I've got this stuff in here, I can't play any of this stuff.

0:52:440:52:48

I learned, do you know what,

0:52:480:52:50

instead of putting myself in a situation where my blindness

0:52:500:52:54

makes me inferior, I'm going to create a situation where

0:52:540:52:58

I can put my strengths out there.

0:52:580:53:01

I think that when you're disabled in any way or when you have some...

0:53:010:53:06

I think you have to figure out how you learn.

0:53:060:53:08

-But you know what, Raul, you use the word disabled.

-Right.

0:53:080:53:12

You are enabled in other areas that the average person doesn't have.

0:53:120:53:19

I was a stutterer until I was 28.

0:53:190:53:22

I used to avoid the phone and, you know,

0:53:220:53:24

just anywhere where you had to talk.

0:53:240:53:28

And people would get up in your face and say "Spit it out, spit it out!"

0:53:280:53:33

As if you had a choice in the matter, you know what I mean?

0:53:330:53:37

As if you got in that line and said,

0:53:370:53:39

"Well, I think I'm going to get in", you know, when you're getting ready

0:53:390:53:43

to be born, you know, like, "I think I'll get in the stuttering line."

0:53:430:53:47

And the thing is, what do you do after you find out you're here?

0:53:470:53:52

So then, you know, there was a phrase that I kept batting around,

0:53:520:53:57

"In my mind's eye, I can see the world from here."

0:53:570:54:01

-Right. Wow.

-How's that?

0:54:010:54:03

-I love it.

-You want to play with that later.

-Yes.

0:54:030:54:07

-Why don't you write it down so you don't forget it.

-I'm writing it down.

0:54:070:54:11

I love it, and it could be something about being clear.

0:54:110:54:15

-Yeah, OK, write down "clear". "I can see the world from here."

-Yeah.

0:54:150:54:19

-Because it's...

-"And sometimes I..."

0:54:190:54:22

Because clarity, in the mind's eye, is absolute.

0:54:220:54:26

-It can be absolute.

-OK. OK, now let's begin another line.

0:54:260:54:30

-"I can hear the dream, my dream, so clear."

-Yeah.

0:54:300:54:37

"Just an idea, just an idea."

0:54:370:54:39

-OK.

-That's good, Raul. That's good.

0:54:410:54:43

"In my mind's eye, I can see the world from here.

0:54:430:54:46

"And sometimes I can hear my dreams so clear."

0:54:460:54:50

Get down, Raul, come on, brother.

0:54:520:54:54

Throw something in the pot. There you go.

0:54:540:54:56

Because people always ask me about dreams.

0:54:560:54:59

"How do you dream if you can see?" Well, I hear in my dreams, don't you?

0:54:590:55:02

-Yeah.

-You know what I mean?

0:55:020:55:04

It's not about seeing, it's about being in your dream.

0:55:040:55:07

I don't know what would motivate someone at the point

0:55:200:55:23

in their life that he's in, with the break that he's taken.

0:55:230:55:26

But I do know that he has no problem throwing down

0:55:260:55:29

when he feels like throwing down.

0:55:290:55:32

When he wants to do something, I mean, he's just obsessed,

0:55:320:55:36

he's all in, up at two o'clock in the morning, not eating,

0:55:360:55:38

not sleeping, and that's exhausting.

0:55:380:55:41

# Mi amigo Cubano. #

0:55:440:55:47

No, I'm looking for the count-in.

0:55:470:55:49

# Hola, como esta?

0:55:490:55:54

# Mi amigo Cubano

0:55:540:55:58

# Que paso, mi hermano? #

0:56:060:56:09

-Yeah.

-Something like that.

0:56:090:56:12

# Mi amigo Cubano... #

0:56:160:56:19

There you go, Raul, that's what I'm talking about.

0:56:280:56:31

That was pretty cool, actually.

0:56:310:56:33

You know, you know, it all gets back to that thing.

0:56:330:56:37

If you start sweet then you got somewhere to go.

0:56:370:56:40

Let me go to 41 here and see what's happening, Raul.

0:56:400:56:42

Bear with me here, one more time, OK?

0:56:440:56:46

Listen to this and then I'll make my next edit, OK?

0:56:460:56:50

-# Hola, como esta? #

-I think Bill is always thinking of songs.

0:56:520:56:56

He has songs that he's created over the last 10,

0:56:560:57:00

15 years that are on tape.

0:57:000:57:05

He put a lot into building that studio.

0:57:050:57:08

I think in his imagination, he felt, I'm going to do some music.

0:57:080:57:12

Whether or not he was actually going to put it out there,

0:57:120:57:15

that's another story.

0:57:150:57:17

Background - # Amigo cubano!

0:57:170:57:20

# Ba-do be-da-boo-dee... #

0:57:200:57:21

Selfishly, it would be fantastic, fantastic,

0:57:210:57:25

if he would get a record together

0:57:250:57:28

and it'd be new music and all that kind of stuff.

0:57:280:57:32

It'd be fun, but realistically, I'm not sure that he wants that.

0:57:320:57:36

He just hasn't wanted to get back into the music business.

0:57:360:57:42

# Que paso, mi hermano. #

0:57:420:57:44

RAUL IMITATES A TRUMPET

0:57:440:57:49

I'm going to go to the Carnival here.

0:57:490:57:51

# Mi amigo Cubano. #

0:57:530:57:56

There it is, there.

0:57:560:57:59

Yeah, there it is, there it is.

0:57:590:58:02

# Mi amigo Cubano

0:58:030:58:06

It's got that hump with it.

0:58:110:58:13

# Que paso, mi hermano? #

0:58:130:58:17

'I might just go in this frenzy, you know,

0:58:170:58:20

'just become obsessed with it every day.

0:58:200:58:24

'All you hear is just noise and me. You know what I mean?

0:58:240:58:28

'I would like that.'

0:58:280:58:30

BILL SINGS SCAT

0:58:370:58:44

Let's figure it out. # Waay-oh... #

0:58:440:58:46

# There's just so much about you

0:58:480:58:51

# That I li-I-ike

0:58:530:58:58

# And it's been so good to kno-o-ow

0:59:010:59:06

# How you've always been there for me

0:59:080:59:15

# When I needed a friend

0:59:170:59:21

# And oh, by the way

0:59:240:59:27

# Any time, any time

0:59:330:59:37

# Any time of the night or day

0:59:390:59:42

# I will be ju-u-ust

0:59:460:59:52

# A telephone call away. #

0:59:520:59:54

Come on, Kori, sing that bridge.

0:59:591:00:01

# Say if you need me

1:00:011:00:06

# I'll always be

1:00:061:00:10

# Just a telephone call

1:00:101:00:16

# A-wa-a-ay. #

1:00:161:00:20

-Go ahead, sing it.

-# And oh, by the way

1:00:201:00:26

# I just want to say

1:00:261:00:30

# Any time, any ti-ime

1:00:301:00:34

# Any time of the night or day

1:00:341:00:39

# I will be ju-u-u-ust

1:00:391:00:43

# A telephone call away. #

1:00:461:00:50

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-Haha, let's get out of here.

1:00:531:00:56

That sounded really nice.

1:00:561:00:57

-But Kori, girl, we can work that tune.

-We can.

-We can do that song.

1:00:571:01:02

Yeah.

1:01:031:01:04

'As far as music goes, I think my dad is a pretty honest critic,

1:01:041:01:09

'and I really had to toughen up

1:01:091:01:10

'and realise that there was a difference between someone

1:01:101:01:13

'criticising you in a way that's saying you're untalented

1:01:131:01:16

'and someone being a coach, you know,

1:01:161:01:18

'someone saying, "Yeah, that wasn't a strike."'

1:01:181:01:21

-You ain't no joke, sugar.

-No.

1:01:211:01:25

That was so great to sing in that room.

1:01:251:01:28

Yeah. You getting a little grease on you,

1:01:281:01:30

that's what I'm talking about, you understand?

1:01:301:01:33

You know, getting a little grease on you, that is, you know,

1:01:331:01:36

you bringing the stuff, Kori.

1:01:361:01:39

Let's hit this sucker here.

1:01:431:01:46

Yeah.

1:01:481:01:50

I knew there are ways that my father is gifted,

1:01:501:01:54

and that I'm different than that,

1:01:541:01:56

and that I'm going to have to find my own process

1:01:561:01:59

and sort of my own way,

1:01:591:02:00

and for me I just knew that I wanted to get better.

1:02:001:02:03

-You just be comfortable and we'll make all this work.

-OK.

-Yeah.

1:02:031:02:08

-Er...

-I'm going to lift this just slightly.

1:02:081:02:11

Do what you want to with it. You want it closer, further away?

1:02:111:02:13

No, that's good.

1:02:131:02:15

This is a... This is called Blue Blues.

1:02:151:02:18

# I've moved on

1:02:311:02:34

# From you

1:02:351:02:36

# So I say

1:02:381:02:39

# So it seemed

1:02:411:02:43

# You are gone

1:02:441:02:47

# Far away

1:02:471:02:49

# I let you go

1:02:491:02:52

# I set you free

1:02:521:02:54

# Still I swim in a sea

1:02:561:03:04

# Of you

1:03:051:03:07

# My blue... #

1:03:081:03:19

'My biggest fear, worst nightmare, was that

1:03:221:03:26

'I would be a disappointment to him, that I would show him what I had

1:03:261:03:29

'and he would be disappointed,

1:03:291:03:31

'because I knew he always was really eager'

1:03:311:03:33

to work with me, and I was always just like,

1:03:331:03:35

"Why? You're Bill Withers. Why would you ever want to do that?"

1:03:351:03:38

Like, why would you ever want to do that?

1:03:381:03:40

And I just could never see how he and I could sit in a room as equals and do anything together.

1:03:401:03:45

# I give up

1:03:451:03:46

# I give in

1:03:471:03:49

# I can't hide away

1:03:511:03:53

# This love I'm in

1:03:531:03:56

# Will never have me

1:03:561:04:00

# Will only leave me

1:04:021:04:06

# Deep in the sea of my blue, blue blues. #

1:04:061:04:13

-HE SOBS

-Oh, that's great.

-Oh, I'm sorry.

1:04:331:04:36

SHE LAUGHS

1:04:361:04:38

I'm just, erm... You know, I'm just glad to see you.

1:04:401:04:47

HE SNIFFS

1:04:491:04:51

Er...

1:04:511:04:52

HE SOBS

1:04:551:04:57

-You know what I mean.

-Yeah.

1:04:571:04:59

Let's hear that. Let's hear that.

1:04:591:05:04

RECORDING PLAYS

1:05:051:05:08

We're all accidents at birth, you know?

1:05:101:05:13

We don't get to choose, you know, what we look like,

1:05:131:05:16

we don't get to choose how gifted we're going to be,

1:05:161:05:20

how tall, how strong,

1:05:201:05:22

we don't get to choose anything about what we're going to be.

1:05:221:05:25

One day, somebody says, "You ARE."

1:05:271:05:29

At some point or another, we have a choice...

1:05:291:05:34

..if we're sane enough by that point,

1:05:361:05:39

as to how much we're going to apply ourselves,

1:05:391:05:42

and a lot of that is influenced by the people who nurture us.

1:05:421:05:48

'I already did what I did.'

1:05:591:06:01

You know, I'm not that little boy or that young guy any more

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that hasn't had any validation.

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CHEERING

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# Grandma's hand

1:07:421:07:45

# Clapped in church on Sunday morning

1:07:451:07:49

# Grandma's hand

1:07:491:07:51

# Played a tambourine so well

1:07:511:07:53

# Grandma's hand

1:07:531:07:56

# Issued out a warning

1:07:561:07:59

# Billy, don't you run so fast

1:07:591:08:02

# Might fall on a piece of glass

1:08:021:08:05

# Might be snakes there in that grass

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# Grandma's hand

1:08:071:08:09

# And you know that Grandma's hands

1:08:461:08:48

# Soothed a local unwed mother

1:08:481:08:52

# Grandma's hand

1:08:521:08:54

# It aches some times and swells

1:08:541:08:58

# Grandma's hands

1:08:581:09:00

# Lift her face and tell her

1:09:001:09:02

# Baby, Grandma, understand

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# That your really love that man

1:09:051:09:08

# Even though he ain't no good

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# Grandma's hand... #

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Come on, play it, man.

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# A man we passed

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# Just tried to stare me down

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# And when I looked at you

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# You looked at the ground... #

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

1:10:361:10:39

You know the music - now meet the man. Still Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Lovely Day, Grandma's Hands and Just the Two of Us. With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written songs that resonate within the fabric of our times. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music legends, his family and closest friends, this documentary presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.


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