Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone. The day we lost Bill Withers

Bill Withers in 1976

I remember my teenage years when I was listening on repeat “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers and how I always had somewhere, in a drawer, an empty cassette just in case I will hear a new melody from my favorite artists at the radio (don’t judge, this is how my generation spend the 90s). And if the waiting was too long, I used to call the radio hosts and ask them politely to play a certain song for me and a bonus one from Bill Withers.

I always said that his music was made to draw smiles on people’s faces and this article is my humble tribute for him.

Bill was the proof that you can be anything in this life and that you should always follow your passion. When he was only 18 years old, the future soul singer decided to escape West Virginia by joining the Navy. Two years later Bill relocated to Los Angeles and while he was working as an aircraft toilet installer, he spent his nights recording demos. This was also the time when “Ain’t No Sunshine” was released.

Withers’ legacy will remain strong because his music spoke honestly to people. He was here, on this Earth, to connect us all easily through his poetry and music.

In 2015, when he was welcome into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bill Whiters said:

“What few songs I wrote during my brief career, there ain’t a genre that somebody didn’t record them in. I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia.”

Along the time, Bill Withers has been covered by many big artists such as Bara Streisand, John Legend, Maroon 5, James Blake, Jill Scott and countless others. They all know that  Bill Withers was a big voice we could all “Lean On”.

Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone, it’s not warm when he’s away.

All images are under copyright © Oana Cernat