Remembering Bill Withers (1938 - 2020)

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2020 12:49pm | Post a Comment
The Essential Bill Withers is one of many compilations of the late great artist's work
American soul music icon Bill Withers has died at age 81, the result of “heart complications” according to his family in a statement made to the Associated Press today. Although this sad news only broke today, reportedly the artist’s passing occurred four days ago (Monday, March 30th) in Los Angeles. Born in West Virginia in 1938, the three-time Grammy winner known for his distinctively smooth soothing vocal style released eight studio albums and one live album in just a decade-and-a-half recording career. His career didn’t begin until he was in his thirties and was brought to an early close back in the 1980’s when he made the decision to withdraw from recording music altogether. Meanwhile, the artist's back catalog has kept his legacy alive and well, and, now after his passing, will continue to do so for a long long time to come. In addition to his nine albums, there are numerous collections and compilations of his music, including the 2CD 34 track The Essential Bill Withers.

While he has a long list of amazing songs, Bill Withers will always be best known for the timeless hits “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” (with Grover Washington Jr.) and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The latter was initially the B-Side of the 1971 Sussex Records single “Harlem” that radio DJs discovered and wisely played in favor of the A-side. In addition to being covered by countless artists over the decades, these Bill Withers classics have long been the staples of wedding playlists. Coincidentally in the few weeks leading up to the announcement of his passing, Withers’ music was among the favorites of inspirational music in the COVID-19 quarantine era. Specifically, the uplifting “Lean On Me” became a theme for health care workers and those on the frontline as well for the quarantined public in recent weeks.

Bill Withers Top Five Vinyl Picks Available @ Amoeba.Com

1: Menagerie [180 Gram Vinyl] LP (Music On Vinyl)

2: Bill Withers Greatest Hits [MFSL] (Mobile Fidelity)

3: Just As I Am [180 Gram Vinyl) (Music On Vinyl)

4: Live At Carnegie Hall [180 Gram Vinyl] 2LP (Music On Vinyl)

5: Still Bill [180 Gram Vinyl] LP (Music On Vinyl)

Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine"

Bill Withers "Lean On Me"

Bill Withers "Lovely Day"

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