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Thread: R.I.P. Bill Withers

  1. #1
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    R.I.P. Bill Withers

    This one hurts - I am a huge fan of Bill - no one had a voice like his. Apparently NOT a COVID-19 casualty:

    https://apnews.com/e19138ee60f29a319e45bcfba3e39331

    Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean On Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81.

    The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said. His death comes as the public has drawn inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times.

    “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,” the family statement read. “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.”

  2. #2
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    I also want to share a terrific article/interview from Rolling Stone from 2015 that really chronicles Bill's unique career and how much of an everyman he was. It talks about his unhappiness with the record business (like how he found himself opening up for Jethro Tull and how “Just the Two of Us” was his ‘kiss my ass’ song to Columbia). This is one of my favorite quotes from him from that article:

    “Early on, I had a manager for a couple of months, and it felt like getting a gasoline enema,” says Withers. “Nobody had my interest at heart. I felt like a pawn. I like being my own man.”

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...d-away-111535/

  3. #3
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    That's truly sad. I remember his big songs as being a big part of my youth. I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I thought he had died some time ago (stupid me - I was probably confusing him with Barry White). Anyway, I was wrong. 81 is a respectable run. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Bill Withers. I was just one of the millions who was moved by your art and soul.
    Last edited by Koreabruce; 04-03-2020 at 12:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Used to play a couple of his tunes back in a terrific old rock/blues band. Great stuff, always got the crowd fired up nicely.

    RIP.
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  5. #5
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Rest in peace, Bill. Thanks for all the great songs.
    if you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you is brother you have to wait

  6. #6
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    R.I.P. BW

    Married to actress Denise Nicholas from Room 222 for one year
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

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    Though I LOVE the live version of "Grandma's Hands" from his Carnegie Hall live album, the original with Stephen Stills' guitar work in the background is still a stone-cold classic:


  8. #8
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Sad news, he was part of the soundtrack of my youth as well. RIP.
    "I am the fucking click track!" - Ringo Starr

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    I found this great quote from Bill Halverson, the engineer on Bill's first album:

    "I think Bill was one of those guys that was drawn to writing songs that were real, and when that happens, people will look back an acknowledge his work as a really soulful thing and worth acknowledging. He wasn’t a manufactured artist like a lot of the music today. He was just a guy with some songs with a really good soul, and he hooked up with some players that really knew how to complement him. I’ll still post “Grandma’s Hands” on Facebook because I love listening to it. Something in the cosmos brings people together sometimes. I think it was just meant to be."

    (From a great article/interview with Halverson and Withers all about that first album: https://www.waxpoetics.com/blog/feat...-just-as-i-am/)

  10. #10
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    RIP I'm not much of a smooth jazzer but the Winelight album with Withers and Grover Washington is an old favorite. An early session for bassist Marcus Miller too.

  11. #11
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    (Re: Grandma's Hands) Really, thanks for that. I'd never heard it before. When a singer is being genuine, you just know it in your gut.
    Last edited by Koreabruce; 04-03-2020 at 12:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Grandma's Hands is a truly great song. So cool.

  13. #13
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    I love the dude on the drums!

  14. #14
    Yeah. Use me is a nasty groove.

  15. #15
    Member chescorph's Avatar
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    RIP Bill, a huge presence in the early 70s (my early wheelhouse). And later with Grover Washington Jr on Just The Two Of Us.

    My, Lovely Day is such a simple, beautiful song.

  16. #16
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    RIP. Loved his style.

  17. #17
    Very sad. Massive talent. RIP
    Sleeping at home is killing the hotel business!

  18. #18
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post


    I love the dude on the drums!
    You're not kidding! Thanks for that. That was special!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post


    I love the dude on the drums!
    We play this in one of the bands I'm in and have great fun with it. RIP Mr. Withers!

    Bill

  20. #20
    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    he was a legend.

    My wife and I played "Lovely Day" at our wedding.


  21. #21
    Sorry to hear this. He was a huge talent, and has left quite a legacy in music.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    My, Lovely Day is such a simple, beautiful song.
    Yes it is. Somehow, I'm thinking that it has some 'record' of having the longest unbroken sung note of ... a hit? a top-40 hit?

    Ahh, here we go:
    The song is notable for Withers' sustained note towards the end, which at 18 seconds long, is one of the longest ever recorded on a song.
    "Normal is just the average of extremes" - Gary Lessor

  23. #23
    short docu from 2018 for Dutch tv:


  24. #24
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    Sad news, he was part of the soundtrack of my youth as well. RIP.
    This.
    He did not know that the sword he'd hold, would turn his priceless empire into fool's gold...

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  25. #25
    RIP
    Thanks for the music.

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