Was lucky enough to catch a very nice interview with Bill Withers on Tavis Smiley last night. After the show, I did a little research to expand upon what I learned during the interview. One thing I learned was that Bill Withers was born in my home state of West Virginia and moved to Los Angeles the same year I did, 1967. It was during my time out there that I first heard his song “Ain’t No Sunshine” and became an instant fan. I also learned that his brother had lived here in Columbus, Ohio, where I’ve lived since 1970, and where I also met the best friend I ever had – who just happened to have been born in Beckley, W.Va., where Bill Withers was raised.
Something else I learned was that Bill suffered from a terrible stuttering problem well into his adulthood, the overcoming of which I suspect contributed greatly to his very laid back and down-to-earth demeanor. The guy is definitely no show boat and, as one who’s own “personal issues” has had me shying away from attention my whole life, I’m not at all surprised that he’d had enough of the “big star performer” routine after just 15 years. But what a glorious 15 years they were, and I, for one, am extremely grateful for them.
But the most important thing I learned by far was that Bill Withers, who sang some of the most iconic songs of my youth, is finally going to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. It’s about damned time! 😀
Congratulation Bill! 😀
I want ice water.
More from the My Heroes volume