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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Still Bill" Answers A Question Many Have Pondered For Decades......Where is Bill Withers?

Our readers are probably tired of my railing against the status quo pertaining to what passes for musicianship in our new millennium. The music scene has always been a corporatized medium but a modicum of talent was still required in order to see an artist's vision make it to wax and then airplay. I must also be honest and somewhat self-effacing as well-I've been musically spoiled. I grew up under the tutelage of parents that were true music aficionados, who played everything from Billie Holiday to Stevie Wonder. The great Bill Withers was also played in our household and perhaps a question for the ages arises.......what happened to the man? Well this latest documentary entitled, Still Bill attempts to answer that question. Withers, who had a string of souls stirring hits (Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Lovely Day, etc) was a musical staple during the 1970s and then just suddenly disappeared for thirty years. Unlike his contemporary Sly Stone, who also left the music scene for decades, Withers didn't appear to leave due to drugs or paranoia.....he just didn't have a fondness for the business of music. As an aside, I believe he was married to the lovely actress, Denise Nicholas (of Room 222, Blacula, the TV version of the In The Heat of the Night, etc) at one time. I readily admit that I'm very curious to see this film but another question comes up-who is the equivalent of Bill Withers today? Kanye West? Drake? I think I just threw up in my mouth....

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