Throwback: Happy (Belated) 84th Birthday, Bill Withers!

Sadly, we lost Bill Withers two years ago. But yesterday was the 84th anniversary of Withers’ birth in Slab Fork, West Virginia.

As a pop artist Withers’ rise to fame is highly unusual in contemporary pop standards: He had been in the Navy for close to a decade and spent a significant portion of his life working as an assembler for Ford, IBM and Douglas Aircraft Corporation before he wrote and recorded his first two hit songs — at 33.

To me what made Withers’ songs so great, is that they came from profound, lived-in experience. And as a result, he could say the things that you’ve always felt but couldn’t exactly put in words. Always thoughtful, yes. Always crafted, yes. Funky, hell yes.

I don’t think Bill was capable of writing a bad song. I just don’t believe it. So why don’t we celebrate the life and music of the greatest singer/songwriters to ever do it. Happy birthday, Bill! Happy birthday, wherever you are!