When I think of Bill Withers, I think of both my grandmothers, even though I’m all grown up now, I still rely on some of the advice they both passed on to me. The song “Grandma’s Hands” written by him is the epitome of what most Grandmothers are all about. I think we all can relate to a lyric in the song which reminds us of Grandma.
Bill Withers had a way of writing his music to reflect a lot of emotion and feeling and as I listen to “Grandma’s Hands” I can always feel the power of my grandmothers and how beautiful they were…just holding Grandma’s hand can make you feel like everything’s gonna be alright.
Unfortunately, Bill Withers slipped away on March 30, 2020, of heart complications with his family by his side. The legendary soul singer and song writer was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia a small coal-mining town, he was the youngest of six children . His father passed away when he was thirteen and at age 17 he joined the Navy and then in his late twenties picked up his guitar and set out to make music. He ultimately attracted the attention of music executive Clarence Avant who gave him a record deal. Within an eight-year span, Withers recorded over 6 studio albums and released his final album in 1985. During his career, he ignited hits like “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me,” “Grandma’s Hands”, and “Lovely Day,”. “Lean on Me” became the title theme of a 1989 Morgan Freeman film. Withers was the subject of a 2009 documentary known as “Still Bill” and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
We will certainly miss his recognizable strong, distinct and sweet baritone voice and Backbeat R&B would like to extend deepest condolences to his wife, children, extended family, friends and those who loved his music. Thank you, Mr. Bill Withers, for sharing your voice and talent with the world.