Bill Withers

Bill Withers

He’s an amazing soul artist influential US soul singer, a talented singer and performer  who wrote the following songs :  Lean on Me, Ain’t No Sunshine and Lovely Day .

Today (3.4.20) , We reminiscence his legacy on Soul\R&B Music , This post is dedicated to Withers Family and his Fans like me .

May God Bless his soul and all of us .

R.I.P

Here’s The Story Of Bill Withers .

He wrote and recorded several other major hits including Use Me and Just the Two of Us, before retiring in the mid-1980’s and staying out of the public eye .

Full Name : William Harrison Withers Jr. (born July 4, 1938)

He recorded several major hits, including “Lean on Me“, “Ain’t No Sunshine“, “Use Me“, “Just the Two of Us“, “Lovely Day“, and “Grandma’s Hands“. Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for four more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Withers is the youngest of six children, was born in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia.He was born with a stutter and has said he had a hard time fitting in. Raised in nearby Beckley, He was 13 years old when his father died. Withers enlisted with the United States Navy at the age of 18 and served for nine years, during which time he overcame his stutter and became interested in singing and writing songs.

He left the Navy in 1965. Using the $250 he received from selling his furniture to IBM co-worker Ron Sierra, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1967 to start a musical career. Withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including Douglas Aircraft Corporation, while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. When he debuted with the song “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he refused to resign from his job because he believed the music business was a fickle industry.

He died of heart complications during COVID-19 period ,  The family statement reads:

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. 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.

More Information :

Bill Withers Dies At The Age Of 81

Studio albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Record label
US
[26]
US
R&B

[26]
CAN
[27]
UK
[28]
1971 Just as I Am 35 9 37 Sussex
1972 Still Bill 4 1 71
1974 +’Justments 67 7
1975 Making Music 81 7 Columbia
1976 Naked & Warm 169 41
1977 Menagerie 39 16 55 27
1978 ‘Bout Love 134 50
1985 Watching You Watching Me 143 42 60
“—” denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Live albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label
US
[26]
US
R&B

[26]
1973 Live at Carnegie Hall 63 6 Sussex
“—” denotes the album failed to chart

Compilation albums

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Record label
US
[26]
US
R&B

[26]
UK
[28]
1975 The Best of Bill Withers 182 33 Sussex
1980 The Best of Bill Withers Columbia
1981 Bill Withers’ Greatest Hits 183 58 90
1994 Lean on Me: The Best of Bill Withers 131 Legacy
2000 The Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me
2000 The Ultimate Bill Withers Collection (2CD) Sony Music
2005 Lovely Day: The Very Best of Bill Withers 35
2008 Ain’t No Sunshine: The Best of Bill Withers Music Club Deluxe
2009 Playlist: The Very Best of Bill Withers Sussex/Columbia/Legacy
2013 The Essential Bill Withers Columbia/Legacy
“—” denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Singles

Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Album
US
[30]
US
R&B

[30]
US
A/C

[30]
AUS
[31]
CAN
[27]
UK
[28]
1967 “Three Night and A Morning”
b/w “What I’ll Do”
Non-album tracks
1971 “Harlem”
b/w “Moanin’ and Groanin'”
Just As I Am
Ain’t No Sunshine” [A]
b/w “Harlem”
3 6 2 17 9 40
Grandma’s Hands
b/w “Sweet Wanomi”
42 18 16 37
1972 Lean On Me
b/w “Better Off Dead” (from Just As I Am)
1 1 4 12 20 18 Still Bill
Use Me
b/w “Let Me In Your Life”
2 2 14 33
“Let Us Love”
b/w “The Gift Of Giving”
47 17 33 75 Non-album tracks
1973 “Kissing My Love”
b/w “I Don’t Know”
31 12 65 Still Bill
“Friend Of Mine”
b/w “Lonely Town, Lonely Street”
80 25 Bill Withers Live At Carnegie Hall
1974 “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh”
b/w “Make A Smile For Me”
50 10 39 +’Justments
“You”
b/w “Stories”
15
“Heartbreak Road”
b/w “Ruby Lee”
89 13
1975 “It’s All Over Now” (with Bobby Womack)
B-side by Bobby Womack: “Doing It My Way”
68 Non-album track
“Harlem”
b/w “Who Is He (and What Is He To You)” (from Still Bill)
Just As I Am
“Make Love To Your Mind”
b/w “I Love You Dawn”
76 10 Making Music
1976 “I Wish You Well”
b/w “She’s Lonely”
54
“Hello Like Before”
b/w “Family Table”
“If I Didn’t Mean You Well”
b/w “My Imagination”
74 Naked & Warm
1977 “Close To Me”
b/w “I’ll Be With You”
88
Lovely Day
b/w “It Ain’t Because Of Me Baby”
30 6 25 23 7 Menagerie
1978 “Lovely Night For Dancing”
b/w “I Want To Spend The Night”
75
1979 “Don’t It Make It Better”
b/w “Love Is”
30 Bout Love
“You Got The Stuff” — Part 1
b/w Part 2
85
1981 Just the Two of Us” (with Grover Washington Jr.)
B-side by Grover Washington Jr.: “Make Me A Memory”
2 3 2 31 10 34 Bill Withers’ Greatest Hits
“I Want To Spend The Night”
b/w “Memories Are That Way” (from ‘Bout Love)
Menagerie
“U.S.A.”
b/w “Paint Your Pretty Picture” (from Making Music)
83 Non-album track
1984 “In The Name Of Love” (with Ralph MacDonald)
B-side by Ralph MacDonald: “Play Pen”
58 13 6 95 Non-album track
1985 “Oh Yeah!”
b/w “Just Like The First Time” (Non-album track)
106 22 40 60 Watching You Watching Me
“Something That Turns You On”
b/w “You Try To Find A Love”
46
We Could Be Sweet Lovers
b/w “You Just Can’t Smile It Away”
1987 “Lovely Day” (re-release)
b/w “Oh Yeah” (from Watching You Watching Me)
92 Menagerie
1988 “Lovely Day” (Sunshine mix)
b/w “Lovely Day” (Original version from Menagerie)
4 Lovely Days (UK release only)
“Ain’t No Sunshine” (The Total Eclipse mix)
b/w “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Original version from Just As I Am)
82
1990 “Harlem” (Street mix)
b/w “Harlem” (Original version from Just As I Am)
98
“—” denotes the release did not chart

Other appearances

Year Song Album
1982 “Apple Pie” Dreams in Stone[32][33]
2011 Use Me” (live November 4, 1972) The Best of Soul Train Live[34][35]
  •  The original version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” did not chart on the UK Singles Chart until 2009, 38 years after its release.

Awards

Year Award Result Category Song
1971 Grammy Award Win Best Rhythm & Blues Song “Ain’t No Sunshine”
1972 Nominated Grammy Award for Best New Artist
1981 Win Best Rhythm & Blues Song “Just the Two of Us” (Shared with songwriters Ralph MacDonald and William Salter)
1982 Nominated Grammy Award for Song of the Year “Just the Two of Us”
1982 Nominated Grammy Award for Record of the Year “Just the Two of Us”
1984 Nominated Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance “In the Name of Love (feat. Ralph MacDonald)”
1987 Win Best Rhythm & Blues Song “Lean on Me” (as covered by Club Nouveau)
1972 NAACP Image Awards Win Male Singer of the Year

Honors

 

References :  Bill Withers

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