Bill Withers: Marching to His Own Beat

I watched a documentary recently on the life and career of musician, Bill Withers.  The film is entitled: Still Bill, and shares some of his musical pasts but also his distaste for the music business in general and his present day life. He has largely eschewed the music business for the past 25 years, and refers to it as ‘The Fame Game.’

Many may remember him as the iconic author of soul/pop hits from the early 1970’s such as Ain’t No Sunshine, and Lean on Me.  The former is one of my favorite pieces of music and I’ve been working on a version of it for the past 30 years or so.

He has a really interesting background. He was one of 13 children and grew up in a small coal mining town in West Virginia, joined the Navy at 18 and was in the service for 9 years. He was building toilets for 747’s when his music career took off. (He got out of the service in 1970 and I wonder if our paths ever crossed when we were in Japan and the Philippines.)

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Ain’t No Sunshine: