Soul And / Or Related Artists
bill withers

Bill Withers

b.William Harrison 'Bill' Withers, Jr., 4th July 1938, Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.A.

Bill Withers was the youngest of six children.

Bill Withers Parents

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 AmStill BillBill Withers Live+ Justments

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.

Bill Withers and Muhammed Ali

with muhammed ali in zaire - 1974

In 1975, Bill moved to CBS Records.

Making MusicNaked and WarmMenagerieBout Love

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.

Bill also guested on tracks by the Crusaders and Ralph MacDonald, with 'Soul Shadows' and 'In The Name Of Love', respectively.

Watching You, Watching MeBill Withers

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.

Bill Withers

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.

Bill also performed on a 'Quiet Storm' tour over the following two years alongside artists including the late Phyllis Hyman, Cherelle and Gerald Albright.

'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, Withers remains a skilled songwriter, whose melodies have been recorded by various bands, including Creative Source, Margie Joseph, Thelma Houston, The Winans and The Blossoms.

These days Bill can be found working as a gardener in his local neighbourhood!

Bill Withers

Real Player

Albums:

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)

top of the page

SoulwalkingStart HereThe ArtistsListen Out ForThe ChartBeen MissedRespectReal AudioOpinionNetworkJazz & FusionLinksMotown