As the Grammy telecast begins, and AC-DC kick off the show, Withers jumps into his Lexus SUV and heads down to his favorite restaurant, Le Petit Four; he has a hankering for liver and onions but settles for the blackened catfish. The hostess knows him by name, but otherwise he blends into the crowd. “I grew up in the age of Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson,” he says, still musing on the Grammys. “It was a time where a fat, ugly broad that could sing had value. Now everything is about image. It’s not poetry. This just isn’t my time.”
Bill Withers Biography (Wikipedia)
As penner of Lean On Me and Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers is behind some of pop’s most eternal moments, yet he walked out of the industry more than 30 years ago. Jim Ottewill gets a rare meeting with a songwriter who chose to leave show business and let his hits do the talking…
Bill Withers music featured in movies and TV shows:
The movie gives us an intimate look as he celebrates his 70th birthday, reminisces on a great career that started surprisingly late (age 32) all while trying to rekindle the creative fire that delivered timeless gems like “Lovely Day”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Grandma’s Hands”. Withers hasn’t put out a record in 25 years but we see him dust it off as he records a track with Raul Midon and also his daughter.
Bill Withers: Still Himself, but He’ll Allow the Attention
Ed Sheeran often incorporates “Ain’t No Sunshine” into medleys at his concerts. “He’s one of those people like Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson or the Beatles, who no one can say they’re not influenced by,” Mr. Sheeran said. “Because even if you’re not a fan, somewhere along the line you’ve been influenced by someone who’s been influenced by them.”
José James Salutes Bill Withers With New Tour & Two Live Videos: Premiere
Lean on Me: José James Celebrates Bill Witherswill kick off in New York City on Jan. 11. In advance of the upcoming run, James is treating fans to new live videos of two gems from the Withers songbook, “Hope She’ll Be Happier” and “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh.” The double premiere follows James’ earlier video release of another Withers classic, “Better Off Dead.”
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For Bill it is quite simply stated, "I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel. 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."
While serving overseas, Withers arranged for his mother to move from West Virginia to San Jose, California, where he joined her after being decommissioned in 1965. For the next two years, Withers worked a variety of jobs, while cruising the local music clubs most evenings. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, he would sit in, singing blues standards with such West Coast stalwarts as Clifford Coulter and Johnny Heartsman.
Ain’t No Sunshine: The Best Of Bill Withers
34 stunning highlights from a singing and songwriting genius of the 70s and 80s, including hits ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Lovely Day’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. Sleevenotes and compilation by Mark Nelson (Young Disciples, Paul Weller, Primal Scream). Includes four tracks from ‘+Justments’ which have never been previously released on CD.