Bill Withers is an interesting individual since he didn’t go right into the music business when he was given a chance. He had a rather bad stutter when he was younger and din’t have a whole lot of confidence speaking or singing. But when he was 18 he enlisted in the US Navy and lost his stutter over a nine-year stretch as he became interested in singing and writing music. Upon leaving the Navy he began to work and cut demo tapes in his spare time, making a living while trying to make his voice heard throughout the area. When he was given a chance to debut with one of his songs though he didn’t bother quitting his job since he believed the music business was too fickle and he needed some sort of income to get by on. That’s a smart move to be honest but it was also kind of interesting to learn.
Here are some of his best songs to date.
5. Grandma’s Hands
We’ve all got that one person in our lives that seems to make everything make sense like no one else can. Be it a man or a woman there’s something about that person that makes them more special than anyone. Bill understands this just as well as anyone obviously since that one person that we idolize above everyone else is the typically the kind of person that we look up to for just about anything and everything we figure is important. The impact that such people make in our lives usually carries us throughout our lives with memories that are both fond and meaningful in a way that’s hard to describe save through emotion.
4. Lovely Day
One thing that Bill has been able to do with his music at times is create an overwhelmingly positive vibe that you can’t help but feel throughout your body as the track rolls on and on. It’s the kind of feeling that takes a while to wake in a person, but once it does you get the feeling that everything is going to be alright, that it will be the kind of day that you can’t help but think will go just the way it needs to. A great thing to notice is that whenever this song is used in movies and TV shows it’s almost always used to denote something that’s either increasingly positive or a moment that is about to happen that’s not entirely positive or negative, but is balanced in a way that makes it seem at least the way it should.
3. Use Me
One image that comes to mind when thinking of this song is the film Any Given Sunday, as it fits the film just perfectly and the message that’s conveyed is something that perfect for the movie and the moment in which it’s being used. The smooth feel of this song and the sound of Bill’s voice are perfect contrasts that push the whole thing forward and create a blend of something that’s not entirely harmonious and smooth, but that still grants a feeling that’s discordant enough to be cool. This music is the type that is able to transcend different eras as it’s simple enough but at the same time just complex enough to be worth looking into for various uses.
2. Ain’t No Sunshine
This song has been used repeatedly throughout the years and by different artists to convey the same meaning but in different ways. You can catch the message pretty easily in the original track, and it’s one that you can’t help but feel is kind of depressing in its own way. But all the same it’s a compelling song that’s kind of haunting in a way when it comes to just how addictive it really is. Listening to Bill sing is simply that good at what he does that you want to sit and listen to him, vibing along with music from start to end. Those that have taken up this song and created their own versions of it have done a good job, but there’s no topping the original.
1. Lean On Me
Were you really expecting another song to make the top spot? Not only is this song a personal favorite, but it’s one of those that many people can agree is a track that is so undeniably positive that it’s become something of a treasured tune to many that will instantly recognize it the moment that it’s played. It’s been remixed, redone, and sung by different artists throughout the years, but the original is still the best since it carries the most emotion and doesn’t have the added synthetic noise that some artists have felt was necessary to add. With all due respect to those that have tried, no one has managed to top Bill when it comes to this song.
We all need somebody to lean on.