Singer Al Anderson to perform two shows in conjunction with his appearance in a new documentary on Black music in W.Va.

Al Anderson is getting the band back together.

The legendary rock ‘n’ roll and R&B singer, 86, will perform two concerts Dec. 3 at the Encore concert venue in Morgantown.

“We’re gonna sing all the old stuff,” Anderson said.

His shows will be held in conjunction with the Morgantown premiere of the third installment of a documentary series showcasing Black achievement in the arts in West Virginia.

That series, “Those Who Came Before,” is written and produced by Doris Fields, a fellow R&B singer and performer also known by her stage name, “Lady D.”

Fields, like Anderson, has sang in venues across the country, including the White House for a concert with then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, smiling and applauding in the audience.

She started her video series in 2022 and wants to complete five documentaries in all by the time she’s done.

“A lot of us don’t know our history,” she told The Dominion Post previously.

Sonically, across the Mountain State, she means.

“A lot of us don’t know the contributions African-Americans have made in music.”

For instance, there’s Johnnie Johnson, the boogie-woogie piano player from Fairmont who gave Chuck Berry his first gig on New Year’s Eve 1952.

And Billy Cox of Charleston, the in-the-pocket bassist for Jimi Hendrix, during his Band of Gypsies incarnation.

There’s Bill Withers, the “Ain’t No Sunshine” soul-pop Everyman from Slab Fork, Raleigh County, and Claude Jeter – the former West Virginia coal miner who quit digging underground to soar to spiritual heights with his landmark Gospel group, The Swan Silvertones.

With the third installment of “Those Who Came Before (Part 3)” the aforementioned Anderson is prominently featured.

Anderson grew up in Osage and music got him out of Osage for several years, before he came back home in the 1970s to care for his ailing father.

He could sing anything.

Doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll.

Gospel and the gut-bucket blues.

His Appalachia was a tapestry.

Everybody came to Osage to work in the mines.

Italians from Calabria.

Blacks from Alabama.

And everyone’s dad looked the same at the end of the shift when they emerged from the maw of the mine: black, from the coal dust.

When he wasn’t working his day job as a retail manager in Washington, D.C., Anderson was fronting bands that backed up the top touring acts, such as the Isley Brothers, who regularly sold-out venues in the capital city’s thriving music scene.

“We were playing their songs anyway,” he said. “In the same key they were playing them in.”

Anderson would eventually perform on bandstands from Hollywood, Fla., to Hollywood, Calif., and that’s him you hear singing lead on “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”, which would turn out to be the biggest hit ever for Billy Ward and the Dominos, of doo-wop fame.

Big voice on the big screen

Meanwhile, the Encore venue will screen Fields’ latest installment in two showings at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, with each screening followed by a concert from Anderson and his band.

Visit to order your tickets in advance.

“We’re bringing a lot of guys who played music with me 30 years ago,” Anderson said.

That includes bandstand stalwarts Bobby Maxon on saxophone and Will Wharton on drums, he said, who will help him kick out the jams on “Stagger Lee,” “Lucille,” “You Send Me,” “Mustang Sally” and other jukebox favorites spanning the generations.

“Man, I can’t wait to get on that stage,” he said. “I can still hit the high notes. I’m pretty blessed.”