You’ve heard Bill Withers. Even if you don’t realize you’ve heard of him. You’ve heard him. You’ve heard him because you’ve heard “Ain’t No Sunshine”, because you’ve heard “Lean On Me”, and because you’ve heard “Just The Two Of Us”. He is a soul legend, and the documentary “Still Bill” (named after one of his albums of the same name) traces his incredible life.
Many don’t realize how simple Withers’ life was before he was thrown into the heights of soul stardom. When “Ain’t No Sunshine” was released, Withers’ was working as an airline mechanic, installing toilets on 747s. Then suddenly, he was in an entirely different universe. And it was one that — as he openly admits — he found it difficult to adjust to. “I became very interested [in the question], can I still stay in this business and be effective and make a living, and not have to play this fame game? I wasn’t any good at it. The fame game was kickin’ my ass,” Withers explains. No matter how much he tried to be a relaxed, go-with-the-flow artist, he soon realized he was in over his head. To see how Withers made this incredible journey and kept his integrity intact, you can watch the whole video here:
It’s amazing to see a man in the music industry be so open about his vulnerabilities and his fears — to talk about them, to sing about them. Bill Withers is, undoubtedly, a class act. It shines through in his music and, no matter what he’s been through and what choices he’s made to distance himself from the industry, his talent can’t be ignored.