Friday, March 9, 2012

Still Bill (Withers that is)

I just watched the 2009 documentary Still Bill over at Hulu (unfortunately you have to be a Hulu Plus member to view it there) about the life of singer/songwriter Bill Withers. Most will remember him for songs like "Lean on Me," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma's Hands," "Use Me," and "Just the Two of Us" w/Grover Washington Jr. "Lean on Me" is now an official hymn in the Unitarian-Universalist Association's hymnal. It's Hymn #1021 in their book. I remember singing that all the time at youth group services at my Full Gospel Church during the 70s. I think it's definately among the best songs ever written.

This is one of the very best documentaries on a musician I've ever seen. It caught some very moving moments that you just can't script, and much of that is due to Mr. Withers' own penchant for spontaneity both in music and in life. I admire his music and appreciate his good-hearted nature that seems to penetrate everything in and around his life. Bill dropped out of the music scene nearly 25 years ago stating, "I've nothing left to say." He's continually turned down offer after offer to return to music but has stuck to his guns. He does, however, still write songs for other people to record.

It was also a great pleasure to hear his daughter both talk and sing for the first time. She's a very gifted young lady.

I hope you get a chance to see it sometime.

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