Bill Withers - Who Is He (And What Is He To You)
I have shared tunes from Withers
before, but since he just passed away, I figured I'd do a post in honor of his career, and the incredible songs he released. Withers was born in 1938 in West Virginia, one of six children in a small coal mining town. After high school, he joined the Navy, after which his interest in singing and performing grew. He moved to LA in 1967 and embarked on what would become an incredibly successful career, recording a number of hits over the course of the '70s, and becoming a legend of the soul and R&B world. He passed away 3 days ago, March 30th, of heart complications at age 81.
This song was released on his
second album, Still Bill, in 1972. Although I am of course a fan of the singles (Lean on Me and Use Me), I think this is my personal favorite on the album, and perhaps from his entire career. The guitars have an awesome warbled, bendy sort of quality, and Withers vocals are rhythmically and melodically so catchy. The emotions of the narrator absolutely come through in his voice, of a man tortured by the looks his girlfriend was giving to another man in public, and his subsequent reaction to it. This has helped him to become an icon of '70s Soul/R&B, and inspire countless musicians who have followed in his footsteps.
Enjoy today's song! Thanks for checking out my blog, and Steem On!