Bill Withers is A songwriter, singer and guitarist, probably best remembered remembered for Lean On Me .
His hit duet with saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., Just The Two Of Us was featured in the Mike Myers’ movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Al Jarreau recorded an entire CD of Withers songs, Tribute to Bill Withers(Culture Press 1998).
Bill was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was a child and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. In 1967 after serving nine years in the Navy, he went to Los Angeles to begin song writing. He recorded demos at night while working at the Boeing aircraft company, he made the ‘toilet seats’.
It was Booker T. Jones who produced his debut album, Just As I Am (with some co-production by Al Jackson, Jr.) This session included his first single, Ain’t No Sunshine. It went gold, No. 6 R&B, and No.3 pop in the summer of 1971 (it also won a Grammy as Best R & B Song.)
The follow up,Grandma’s Hands reached 18 R&B. Later covered by The Staple Singers.
Bill wrote Lean On Me based on his experiences growing up in a West Virginia coal mining town, related to hymns that he heard in church.
Lean On Me, was accompanied by members of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. It was also the title theme of a 1989 movie starring Morgan Freeman.
In 1975 Bill did Better Days, the soundtrack of Bill Cosby‘s 1971 western, Man And Boy.He also did a duet single with Bobby Womack on United Artists, It’s All Over Now, (which the Rolling Stones did as a cover of Womack’s song: the original was with him singing with the Valentinos.)
“Who Is He To You” was recorded by Creative Source:
BORN: July 4, 1938, Slab Fork, WV
Ain’t No Sunshine Since She’s Gone – 1971
Lean On Me – 1972
Lovely Day – 1977
Who Is He (and What Is He To You)
Bill Withers Ain’t No Sunshine Since She’s Gone – Produced By Booker T Jones .
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