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Encyclopedia > Bill Withers
Bill Withers
Background information
Born July 4, 1938
Slab Fork, West Virginia, United States
Origin Los Angeles
Genre(s) Soul, R&B
Instrument(s) Voice, acoustic guitar
Years active 1967-1985
Label(s) Sussex Records
Columbia Records
Website http://www.billwithers.com/

Bill Withers (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s. Some of his best-known songs include "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me," "Lean on Me", "Grandma's Hands", and "Just the Two of Us". For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Slab Fork is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States with a population of 202. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... Nickname: Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-Council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... Rhythm and blues (also known as R&B or RnB) is a popular music genre combining jazz, gospel, and blues influences — first performed by African American artists. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Sussex Records was a record label located in Hollywood. ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Slab Fork is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States with a population of 202. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... The term singer-songwriter refers to performers who both write and sing their own material. ... Aint No Sunshine is a song by Bill Withers from his 1971 album Just As I Am. ... Lean on Me is a well known hit song written and performed by Bill Withers on the 1972 album Still Bill. ...

Contents

Early life

Bill Withers was born the youngest of six children in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. Raised in nearby Beckley, West Virginia, he was thirteen when his father died. He joined the United States Navy at seventeen and served for nine years, during which time he became interested in singing. He began writing songs to fill a need for lyrics that expressed what he felt. Following his discharge from the Navy in 1965, he moved to Los Angeles in 1967 to pursue a career in music.[1] Slab Fork is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States with a population of 202. ... Alfred Beckley Beckley is a city in Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA and founded on April 4, 1838. ... The United States Navy, also known as the USN or the U.S. Navy, is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations. ... Nickname: Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-Council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ...


Withers worked full-time in a Lockheed assembly plant, assembling toilets for Boeing 747s, while recording demo tapes he shopped around and performing in the juke joints during the night.[2] When he debuted on the music scene with "Ain't No Sunshine" he refused to give up his job because of his belief that the music business was a fickle industry and that he was still a novice compared to other working acts like The Temptations or Sammy Davis, Jr.[citation needed] Juke joint (or jook joint) is the vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring blues music, dancing, and alcoholic drinks, primarily operated by African American people in the southeastern United States. ... The Temptations (often abbreviated as The Tempts or The Temps) are an American Motown singing group whose repertoire has included doo-wop, soul, psychedelia, funk, disco, R&B, and adult contemporary. ... This article is about the entertainer. ...


Career

Sussex Records

In early 1970, Withers' demo tape was received favorably by Clarence Avant of Sussex Records. Avant signed Withers to a record deal and assigned Booker T. Jones to produce Withers' debut album. Four three-hour studio sessions were planned to record the album, but funding caused the album to be recorded in three sessions with a six-month break between the second and final sessions. Just As I Am was released in 1971 with the tracks "Harlem" and "Ain't No Sunshine" as singles.[3] This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Sussex Records was a record label located in Hollywood. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Just As I Am is a 1971 album by Bill Withers, produced by Sussex Records. ...


The album was a hit and Withers began touring with a band assembled from members of The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Bernoce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and bassist Melvin Dunlap. During a break in touring, Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill. The single "Lean on Me" went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. Charles Wright (born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi) & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering soul and funk band. ... Still Bill is the third album by Bill Withers, released in 1972 by Sussex Records. ... Lean on Me is a well known hit song written and performed by Bill Withers on the 1972 album Still Bill. ...


A 1973 performance was recorded fr the live album Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall. It was followed by the 1974 album +Justments, which featured


After +Justments, Withers became engaged in a legal dispute with the Sussex label and was unable to record. During this time, he wrote and produced two songs on the Gladys Knight & the Pips record I Feel A Song and performed in concert as part of the historical Ali/Forman fight in Zaire. Footage of his performance appeared in the 1996 documentary film When We Were Kings and the accompanying soundtrack. When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held in Zaïre on October 30, 1974. ...


Columbia Records

Withers signed with Columbia Records in 1975. His first released with the label was Making Music, Making Friends, which had the single "She's Lonely" appear in the movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar. The next three years saw an album released each year with Naked & Warm (1976), Menagerie (1977) and 'Bout Love (1978). Looking for Mr. ...


He then focused on joint projects for several years, including the multiple Grammy-nominated "Just the Two of Us," which he performed with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., "Soul Shadows" with The Crusaders, and "In The Name Of Love" with Ralph MacDonald, which was nominated for a vocal performance Grammy. Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States around the start of the 20th century. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family, usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece like the clarinet. ... Grover Washington, Jr. ... The Crusaders are also an Amiga demo scene music group. ... Ralph MacDonald is a grammy-award winning American percussionist born in Harlem, New York, in 1944. ...


His final new release was 1985's Watching You, Watching Me, with the singles "Whatever Happens and "You Just Can't Smile It Away". He retired from the music business after the album was released.


Other endeavors

After retiring, Withers focused on parenting with his wife Marcia, who handles the day-to-day running of his publishing company.[2]. In 1987, he received his ninth Grammy nomination and third Grammy as a songwriter for the re-recording of "Lean On Me" by Club Nouveau.


Following the reissues of Still Bill in 2003 and Just As I am in 2005, there was speculation of previously unreleased material being issued as a new album.[4] Tapes of his unreleased material were delivered from Sony to Withers in 2006.[2]


Discography

  • 1971: Just As I Am
  • 1972: Still Bill
  • 1973: Live at Carnegie Hall
  • 1974: +Justments
  • 1975: Making Music, Making Friends
  • 1976: Naked & Warm
  • 1977: Menagerie
  • 1978: 'Bout Love
  • 1985: Watching You, Watching Me

Just As I Am is a 1971 album by Bill Withers, released by Sussex Records. ... Still Bill is the third album by Bill Withers, released in 1972 by Sussex Records. ...

Awards

The Grammy Award for Best R&B Song (sometimes known as the R&B Songwriters Award) has been awarded since 1969. ... Ralph MacDonald is a grammy-award winning American percussionist born in Harlem, New York, in 1944. ... William Salter (1821-1910) was an American Congregational minister and one of the first ministers to preach in Iowa. ... The Songwriters Hall of Fame is an arm of the National Academy of Popular Music. ...

Cover versions and sampling

Withers' songs have been covered by many artists across multiple genres. Notable versions include:

"Use Me" has been covered by Grace Jones, Hootie and the Blowfish, Mick Jagger/Lenny Kravitz, Better Than Ezra, Fiona Apple, Widespread Panic, D'Angelo, My Brightest Diamond and Lindsay Mac. In addition, Apple also covered "Kissing My Love" on her 1998 tour. Barbra Joan Streisand (born April 24, 1942) is an Academy Award-winning American singer, theatre and film actress, composer, liberal political activist, film producer and director. ... Mud CD cover art Mud was an English glam rock band formed in 1968, best remembered for their single Tiger Feet which was the UKs best-selling single in 1974. ... Diana Ross (born Diane Ernestine Earle Ross[1] on March 26, 1944) is an American singer and actress, whose musical repertoire spans R&B, soul, disco, and pop. ... Club Nouveau was a dance-based, disco and urban R&B group that was formed by producer/performer Jay King in 1986, in Sacramento, California, subsequent to the break up of the Timex Social Club. ... Sir James Paul McCartney MBE (born June 18, 1942) is an iconic Grammy Award-winning English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who first gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of the Beatles. ... Meshell Ndegeocello (born Michelle Lynn Johnson on August 29, 1968 in Berlin, Germany) is an American singer, rapper, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist. ... Kenneth Donald Kenny Rogers (born August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas) is a prolific American country music singer, photographer, producer, songwriter, actor and businessman. ... Over-the-Rhine is a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, that is situated between Downtown and Clifton Heights. ... Grace Jones (born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1948, in Spanish Town, Jamaica) is a model, singer and actress. ... Hootie & the Blowfish is an American pop-rock band, originally formed at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Soni Sonefeld and Mark Bryan. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Leonard Albert Lenny Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and arranger whose retro style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads. ... Better Than Ezra is an alternative rock trio based in New Orleans, Louisiana. ... Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter. ... Widespread Panic is a southern rock/jam band from Athens, Georgia. ... DAngelo (born Michaela Eugene Archer on February 11, 1974 in Richmond, Virginia) is a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ...


Several songs written by Bill Withers have been sampled in many notable songs by other artists:

Other songs that sample Bill Withers's songs include: Earl Simmons (born on December 18, 1970), better known by his stage name, DMX, is an American rapper and actor who rose to popularity in the late-1990s. ... The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. was a dance music group assembled by Robert Clivilles and David Cole of C&C Music Factory. ... Michelle Visage (accent on the second syllable) is the stage name used by dance music vocalist Michelle Shupack, born September 20, 1968 in the Bronx New York. ... DJ Jazzy Jeff (born Jeffrey A. Townes on January 22, 1965 in Philadelphia) is an African American hip hop/R&B record producer and turntablist. ... Todd Anthony Shaw (born April 28, 1966 in Los Angeles), known by stage name Too $hort, is a rapper who started his career as a youth in Oakland, California. ... Twista (a. ... Anthony Hamilton Anthony Hamilton (born in Charlotte, North Carolina) is an R&B/soul singer and songwriter who rose to fame with his 2003 debut album Comin From Where Im From, which featured the singles Comin from Where Im From, Charlene, and Im a Mess. ... Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac, Makaveli, or simply as Pac, was an American artist renowned for his rap music, movie roles, poetry, and his social activism. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

  • Blackstreet sampled "Grandma's Hands" for their hit "No Diggity".
  • Kanye West sampled "Rosie" in the song "Roses."
  • LL Cool J sampled the Creative Source version of "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" in his hit single "Phenomenon" (1997).
  • "Use Me" is heavily sampled by rap duo UGK for their song "Use Me Up" (1992).

BLACKstreet are an American R&B group founded in 1992 by Teddy Riley, a New Jack Swing pioneer known for his work as a member of Guy. ... No Diggity is a 1996 song by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre. ... Kanye Omari West (pronounced /kɑn. ... James Todd Smith III (born January 14, 1968), better known as LL Cool J, is an American hip hop artist and actor. ... UGK (short for Underground Kingz) is a hip-hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas. ... Use Me Up was released on the 1992 album Too Hard To Swallow by Houston rap duo UGK. It features heavy sampling of Bill Withers Use Me. A video was shot for the song, but received no airplay from MTV. Use Me Up Video on You Tube Categories: | | ...

References

  1. ^ Bill Withers. Interview with Tony Cox. Songwriter Bill Withers and a Career Cut Short. News & Notes. National Public Radio. 2007-02-07. Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  2. ^ a b c Elsworth, Catherine (2006-08-10). Still a lovely day. The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2007-05-11. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  3. ^ Nishimoto, Dan (2006-01-31). "The Mythbuster: An Interview with Bill Withers". PopMatters.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Gail (2005-10-14). "Withers In No Hurry To Make New Album". Billboard.
  5. ^ Associated Press (2006-06-02). "LL Cool J, Bill Withers to Be Honored".

“NPR” redirects here. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 21 is the 141st day of the year (142nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ... May 23 is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Bill Withers official site
  • Bill Withers at the Internet Movie Database
  • Biography at Soultracks.com
  • "My brush with greatness and I didn't even know it... ", a blog entry with recent photos of Withers and his band
Persondata
NAME Withers, Bill
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION American singer-songwriter.
DATE OF BIRTH July 4, 1938
PLACE OF BIRTH Slab Fork, West Virginia, United States
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bill Withers | View the Music Artists Biography Online | VH1.com (818 words)
Withers contributed "Better Days" to the soundtrack of the Bill Cosby 1971 western Man And Boy, released on Sussex.
Withers was briefly married actress Denise Nicholas (ABC-TV's Room 222 and the 1972 horror film Blacula) in the early '70s.
Withers' last charting LP was Watching You, Watching Me in spring 1985.
Bill Withers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (386 words)
Bill Withers (born July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is an American singer-songwriter who performed and recorded from the late 1960s until the mid 1980s.
His second album Still Bill also did well on the charts.
Club Nouveau's 1986 cover of "Lean on Me," which is now often used in many churches, earned Withers his third Grammy as a songwriter.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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