Monday, February 06, 2006

Black History Spotlight: Bill Withers

West Virginia native Bill Withers joined the L.A. music scene in the late 60s after a stint in the Navy. In 1970 he was signed to the Sussex music label and hit the ground running with his first album, Just As I Am, and its instantly classic acoustic ballad, "Ain't No Sunshine." Withers' understated, rootsy style was a perfect contrast to where popular music was going at the time, from pre-disco dance music to glam rock. His second release, 1972’s Still Bill, became a career disc, with top hits "Use Me" and "Lean On Me," arguably one of the greatest songs of the past half century.

In the early 80s, he appeared as a guest vocalist on Grover Washington’s #1 hit, "Just the Two of Us" and Ralph McDonald's "In the Name of Love". After releasing another album in 1985, Withers then stopped actively recording, although much of his rich catalog has been regularly covered by other artists. He toured intermittently into the 90s, but then generally ceased performing publicly.

In June 2005, around the time of his 67th birthday, Withers was selected for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


SoulTracks


4 comments:








Anonymous

said...

ain't no sunshine is my ish. i love dat song





Reese

said...

LOL, i used to KILL my daddy singing that when i was litte, all i knew was i know i know i know i know i know i know i know i know...





Anonymous

said...

The guy hat you featured at the bottom of the page is very reminiscent of the kind of music we used to listen to. I've always loved Bill WIthers.





Anonymous

said...

Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP »