Monday, November 13, 2017

Sanity Sunday - The Music of Bill Withers

by Nomad

At age 79. singer-songwriter Bill Withers sums up his career like this:
I don't think I've done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia."
From 1970 to 1985, Withers dominated the pop music world with award winners like 1980's "Just the Two of Us" and Grammy-award song like 1971's "Ain't No Sunshine" and 1972's "Lean on Me."

And then something unexpected happened: Withers walked away- one of the few stars in pop-music history to abandon a lucrative career, entirely of his own volition. Despite his fame, Withers was never tempted to revive that career.

Wither's life began in a poor rural area in one of the poorest states in the US. The youngest of six children, his coal miner father died when Bill was 13. As if that were not enough, Withers was born with a stutter.

After a stint in the Navy, Withers traveled to California in the mid-1960s. And somewhere along the way, he conquered his stutter and picked up the guitar. While working at a factory, he was also writing his own tunes. 
"I figured out that you didn't need to be a virtuoso to accompany yourself."

In 2015, Withers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At his acceptance speech, he walked through his whole career, playing tribute to every single person that helped him out, carefully announcing who was alive and dead. Looking out over the audience, he declared jokingly:
"One other thing crossed my mind, this has got to be the largest AA meeting in the western hemisphere."
If you'd like to learn more about Withers, you can find an interesting article at Rolling Stone

  Lovely Day

  Just the Two of Us

 Ain't No Sunshine 

  Lean On Me

Hope you enjoyed this Withers tribute and that it brightens your Sunday.