b.William Harrison 'Bill' Withers, Jr., 4th July 1938, Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.A.
d. 30th March 2020, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Bill Withers was the youngest of six children.
bill's grandmother (left) and mother and father (right)
His father died when he was a child and he was raised by his mother and grandmother.
Bill moved to California in 1967 after nine years in the U.S. Navy, posted in Guam and other parts of the Far East.
He then began promoting his original songs around several west coast companies.
just as i am - 1971 / still bill - 1972 / bill withers live at carnegie hall - 1973 / + justments - 1974
He was eventually signed to Sussex Records, by Clarence Avant, in 1971, however, Bill still maintained a day job, at the time, fitting toilets into airplanes for Boeing.
He then secured an immediate hit with his debut single, 'Ain't No Sunshine'.
Produced by Booker T. Jones, with Stephen Stills among the guest musicians, this fine performance was a million-seller, a feat emulated in 1972 by two more excellent releases, 'Lean On Me' and 'Use Me'.
In 1974, his song 'Let Me In Your Life' became the title track of an album for Aretha Franklin.
with muhammed ali in zaire - 1974
In 1975, Bill moved to CBS Records.
making music - 1975 / naked and warm - 1976 / menagerie - 1977 / 'bout love - 1979
Bill's personal, rootsy, version of Soul continued to achieve further success with 'Make Love To Your Mind' (1975), the sublime 'Lovely Day' (1977, a single revamped by a remix in 1988) and 'Just The Two Of Us' (1981), an excellent duet with saxophonist Grover Washington Jnr. that earned the two artists a Grammy award in 1982 for the Best R & B performance.
watching you, watching me - 1985
In 1985, he released 'Watching You, Watching Me' for CBS, which featured the popular track 'Oh Yeah'.
After that release he toured in the same year with background vocalists James Varner and Lynn Roderick.
At one of these concerts these background vocalists were spotted by show producer Stan Sheppard, who persuaded them to form a group, who later became the soul band By All Means.
'Lovely Day' re-entered the U.K. pop charts in 1988 as a result of its use in a British television commercial, reaching the Top 5.
A professional performer, Bill remained a skilled songwriter, whose melodies have been recorded by various bands, including Creative Source, Margie Joseph, Thelma Houston, The Winans and The Blossoms.
At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014, Bill Withers: The Complete Sussex & Columbia Albums Collection, a nine-disc set featuring Withers's eight studio albums, as well as his live album Live at Carnegie Hall, received the Grammy Award for Best Historical Album.
In recent times, Bill would be found working as a gardener in his local neighbourhood.
He, sadly passed away in March 2020, from heart complications
His family announced his death on the 3rd of April 2020.
Bill was married Marcia Johnson. They had two children, Todd and Kori.
They said they were ‘devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father’.
Just As I Am (Sussex Records 1971)
Still Bill (Sussex Records 1972)
Bill Withers Live At Carnegie Hall (Sussex Records 1973)
+Justments (Sussex Records 1974)
Making Music (Columbia Records 1975)
Naked And Warm (Columbia Records 1976)
Menagerie (Columbia Records 1977)
Bout Love (Columbia Records 1979)
Watching You Watching Me (Columbia Records 1985)
Still Bill (Columbia Records 1993)
Ain't No Sunshine (Ariola Express Records 1997)
Top Bill (AMW Records 1999)