July 4: Bill Withers was born in 1938
I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, It’s not warm when she’s away, Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, And she’s always gone too long, Anytime she goes away.
~Bill Withers (Ain’t No Sunshine)
Ain’t No Sunshine (Live 1971):
|Birth name||William Harrison Withers, Jr.|
|Born||July 4, 1938 (age 77)
Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Soul, smooth soul, R&B, blues|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards|
William Harrison “Bill” Withers, Jr. (born July 4, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded a number of hits such as “Lean on Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Use Me”, “Just the Two of Us”, “Lovely Day”, and “Grandma’s Hands”. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill.
Here is a lovely interview from 2007:
Lean on Me (Live 1973):
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
Album of the day:
Still Bill (1972)
|Bill Withers came into his own on his third album, Still Bill. Released in 1972, the record is a remarkable summation of a number of contemporary styles: the smooth soul coming out of Philly, smoky, late-night funk via Bobby Womack, bluesy Southern soul, and ’70s singer/songwriterism. It’s rich, subtly layered music, but its best attribute is that it comes on easy, never sounding labored or overworked. In fact, it takes several spins of the album to realize just how versatile Withers is on Still Bill, to hear how he makes intricate, funky rhythms sound as effortless and simple as the album’s best-known song, the gospel-tinged inspirational anthem “Lean on Me.” That’s the genius behind Withers’ music: it’s warm and easily accessible, but it has a depth and complexity that reveals itself over numerous plays — and, given the sound and feel of the music, from the lush arrangements to his comforting voice, it’s easy to want to play this again and again. …..
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
-Egil & Hallgeir