In October, Bill Withers made a rare onstage appearance when he clapped along with the all-star performers in attendance at a tribute concert dedicated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer. The show took place at New York’s Carnegie Hall, where Withers recorded his classic live LP Live at Carnegie Hall 43 years earlier. Okayplayer was on hand to go behind the scenes of the tribute gig and in the mini-documentary above, artists like Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’, Aloe Blacc, Anthony Hamilton discuss their favorite Withers songs. The man himself also appears to discuss what it takes to get to the historic New York venue.
“I don’t know. You do something and if somebody invites you, you come,” Withers said, putting his own spin on the adage, “What does it take to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.” “You can’t invite yourself. You have to be invited.” In the Okayplayer video, many of the Withers tribute performers also talk about why the singer’s “Grandma’s Hands” had such a profound effect on them and what it’s like to perform Withers songs in the presence of the Grammy-winning singer who stepped away from the spotlight decades ago.