April 3, 2020

A Tribute to The Great Bill Withers, Has Passed Away at the Age of 81

Bill Withers, the three-time Grammy-winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who sang such classics as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lovely Day,” “Grandma’s Hands,” “Just the Two of Us,” and “Lean on Me,” died Monday (March 30, 2020) from heart complications, according to a statement released by his family on Friday morning.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other,” the statement read. “As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”

We have put together a compilation of his songs and performances. Our favorite, although it's hard to pick one, starts off with Grandma's Hands.  We wished the mainstream media would not limit his greatness. To categorize him as a Soul singer of R&B hit is a disservice to his legacy and his friends. He was a great singer and songwriter whose impact was felt throughout the culture of American music and throughout the world. R.I.P. Mr. Bill Withers of Slab Fork, West Virginia.

Here's Bill on the WNYC program Death, Sex, and Money
Maybe it's not manly to say, "I'm scared." But for Bill Withers, being a man isn't about ignoring fear. It's about getting things done in spite of it, and knowing when to ask for help. Before he wrote some of the most memorable hits of the 70s and 80s—songs like "Ain't No Sunshine," and "Lean on Me"—Withers was a stuttering boy in a poor mining town.

Here is the trailer for one of the best documentaries (Still Bill) we've seen that shows the intimate portrayal of not just a singer but a man.  Below that is the documentary in its entirety.

Watch before it's no longer available.

A short documentary on Bill Withers' debut album on Clarence Avant's Sussex Records

Updated: (4/4/20) Here's Questlove's multi-platform social media Bill Withers Tribute. It was truly amazing. Yes it was 4 hours, but well worth it.

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