May 11, 2018

RhoDeo 1818 Grooves

Hello, last week we had an artist deciding to drop out and be closer to god and become a gospelartist, this week a man that honered his name and withered but his enormous success in the seventies keeps him and his family
well off, so whose to say an artist needs to toil on stage to make a living..

Today an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded several major hits, including "Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", "Just the Two of Us", "Lovely Day", and "Grandma's Hands". Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for four more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. ..... 'N Joy

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Withers, the youngest of six children, was born in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was born with a stutter and has said he had a hard time fitting in. Raised in nearby Beckley, he was 13 years old when his father died. Withers enlisted with the United States Navy at the age of 18 and served for nine years, during which time he overcame his stutter and became interested in singing and writing songs. He left the Navy in 1965. Using the $250 he received from selling his furniture to IBM co-worker Ron Sierra, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1967 to start a musical career. Withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including Douglas Aircraft Corporation, while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. When he debuted with the song "Ain't No Sunshine", he refused to resign from his job because he believed the music business was a fickle industry.

During early 1970, Withers' demonstration tape was auditioned favorably by Clarence Avant, owner of Sussex Records. Avant signed Withers to a record deal and assigned former Stax Records stalwart Booker T. Jones to produce Withers' first album. Four three-hour recording sessions were planned for the album, but funding caused the album to be recorded in three sessions with a six-month break between the second and final sessions. Just as I Am was released in 1971 with the tracks, "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Grandma's Hands" as singles. The album features Stephen Stills playing lead guitar. On the cover of the album, Withers is pictured at his job at Weber Aircraft in Burbank, California, holding his lunch box.

The album was a success, and Withers began touring with a band assembled from members of The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: drummer James Gadson, guitarist Benorce Blackmon, keyboardist Ray Jackson, and bassist Melvin Dunlap. At the 14th annual Grammy Awards, on Tuesday, March 14, 1972, Withers won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for "Ain't No Sunshine." The track had already sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in September 1971.

During a hiatus from touring, Withers recorded his second album, Still Bill. The single, "Lean on Me" went to number one the week of July 8, 1972. It was Withers' second gold single with confirmed sales in excess of three million. His follow-up, "Use Me" released in August 1972, became his third million seller, with the R.I.A.A. gold disc award taking place on October 12, 1972. His performance at Carnegie Hall on October 6, 1972, was recorded, and released as the live album Bill Withers, Live at Carnegie Hall on November 30, 1972. In 1974, Withers recorded the album +'Justments. Due to a legal dispute with the Sussex company, Withers was unable to record for some time thereafter. During this time, he wrote and produced two songs on the Gladys Knight & the Pips record I Feel a Song, and in October 1974 performed in concert together with James Brown, Etta James, and B.B. King in Zaire four weeks prior to the historic Rumble in the Jungle fight between Foreman and Ali. Footage of his performance was included in the 1996 documentary film When We Were Kings, and he is heard on the accompanying soundtrack. Other footage of his performance is included in the 2008 documentary film Soul Power, which is based on archival footage of the 1974 Zaire concert.

After Sussex Records folded, Withers signed with Columbia Records in 1975. His first album release with
the label, Making Music, Making Friends, included the single "She's Lonely", which was featured in the film Looking for Mr. Goodbar. During the next three years he released an album each year with Naked & Warm (1976), Menagerie (1977, containing the successful "Lovely Day"), "Bout Love" (1978) and "Get on Down"; the latter song also included on the Looking for Mr. Goodbar soundtrack. Due to problems with Columbia and being unable to get songs approved for his album, he concentrated on joint projects from 1977 to 1985, including "Just the Two of Us", with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., which was released during June 1980 It won a Grammy on February 24, 1982. Withers next did "Soul Shadows" with the Crusaders, and "In the Name of Love" with Ralph MacDonald, the latter being nominated for a Grammy for vocal performance.

In 1982, Withers was a featured vocalist on the album, "Dreams in Stone" by French singer Michel Berger. This record included one composition co-written and sung by Withers, an upbeat disco song about New York City entitled "Apple Pie." The album was not released in North America, although it contains several songs about America. In 1985 came Watching You Watching Me, which featured the Top 40-rated R&B single "Oh Yeah", and ended Withers' business association with Columbia Records. Withers stated in interviews that a lot of the songs approved for the album, in particular, two of the first three singles released, were the same songs which were rejected in 1982, hence contributing significantly to the eight-year hiatus between albums. Withers also stated it was frustrating seeing his record label release an album for Mr. T, an actor, when they were preventing him, an actual singer, from releasing his own. He toured with Jennifer Holliday in 1985 to promote what would be his final studio album.

His disdain for Columbia's A&R executives or "blaxperts", as he termed them, trying to exert control over how he should sound if he wanted to sell more albums, played a part in his making the decision to not record or re-sign to a record label after 1985, effectively ending his performing career, even though remixes of his previously recorded music were released after his 'retirement'. Finding musical success later in life than most, at 32, he has said he was socialized as a 'regular guy' who had a life before the music, so he did not feel an inherent need to keep recording once he fell out of love with the industry. He has also stated that he does not miss touring and performing live and does not regret leaving music behind.

Withers married actress Denise Nicholas in 1973, during her stint on the sitcom Room 222. The couple divorced the following year. In 1976, Withers married Marcia Johnson, and they had two children, Todd and Kori. Marcia eventually assumed the direct management of his Beverly Hills-based publishing companies, in which his children also became involved as they became adults.

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In a career laden with highlights and hallmarks in the annals of soul history, Just as I Am gets rather overlooked as one of the best soul debuts ever issued. Remastered and repackaged as a part of Sony's DualDisc series, Just as I Am gets cleaned up and presented to a new generation of listeners who may have missed out the first time. And with this remastering comes an intimacy, warmth, and immediacy to the recordings that was only hinted at with previous versions; it's almost as if Withers is in a living room singing to a small group of people, rather than making a record. Of course, the instantly recognizable anthem "Ain't No Sunshine" gets all of the acclaim it so richly deserves, but tracks like "Harlem" and "Better Off Dead" also warrant kudos for the intensity and maturity of their performances. Even when he's doing covers, Withers treats them as if they are his own compositions and handles them with great delicacy. And while the audio performances are top-notch, the new documentary on the making of the record, as well as rare performances of "Ain't No Sunshine," "Ain't Her Daddy," and "Harlem" are the icing on the proverbial cake. Kudos to Sony for not only reissuing a long lost masterpiece, but for doing it in such a classy fashion.



Bill Withers - Just As I Am   (flac 210mb)

01 Harlem 3:23
02 Ain't No Sunshine 2:04
03 Grandma's Hands 2:00
04 Sweet Wanomi 2:30
05 Everybody's Talkin' 3:21
06 Do It Good 2:52
07 Hope She'll Be Happier 3:48
08 Let It Be 2:37
09 I'm Her Daddy 3:19
10 In My Heart 4:19
11 Moanin' And Groanin' 2:57
12 Better Off Dead 2:13

Bill Withers - Just As I Am (ogg  80mb)

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Bill Withers came into his own on his second album, Still Bill. Released in 1972, the record is a remarkable summation of a number of contemporary styles: the smooth soul coming out of Philly, smoky, late-night funk via Bobby Womack, bluesy Southern soul, and '70s singer/songwriterism. It's rich, subtly layered music, but its best attribute is that it comes on easy, never sounding labored or overworked. In fact, it takes several spins of the album to realize just how versatile Withers is on Still Bill, to hear how he makes intricate, funky rhythms sound as effortless and simple as the album's best-known song, the gospel-tinged inspirational anthem "Lean on Me." That's the genius behind Withers' music: it's warm and easily accessible, but it has a depth and complexity that reveals itself over numerous plays -- and, given the sound and feel of the music, from the lush arrangements to his comforting voice, it's easy to want to play this again and again. Then there's the quality of the songwriting, which is as assured on the grooving "Lonely Town, Lonely Street" as it is on the suspicious, paranoid "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" or "Use Me," where he happily submits to being used by his object of affection. This high level of songwriting is sustained throughout the record, making this the greatest testament to his considerable gifts.



Bill Withers - Still Bill    (flac 210mb)

01 Lonely Town, Lonely Street 3:43
02 Let Me In Your Life 2:39
03 Who Is He (And What Is He To You)? 3:12
04 Use Me 3:46
05 Lean On Me 4:17
06 Kissing My Love 3:49
07 I Don't Know 3:05
08 Another Day To Run 4:38
09 I Don't Want You On My Mind 4:35
10 Take It All In And Check It All Out 2:40

Bill Withers - Still Bill  (ogg  86mb )

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A wonderful live album that capitalizes on Withers' trademark melancholy soul sound while expanding the music to fit the room granted by a live show. Lovely versions of "Grandma's Hands" and "Lean on Me" are balanced by heartfelt downbeat numbers like "Better Off Dead" and "I Can't Write Left-Handed," the latter being an anti-war song with a chilling message. The set finishes off with the lengthy "Harlem/Cold Baloney," with lots of audience-pleased call-and-response going on. One of the best live releases from the '70s.



 Bill Withers - Live At Carnegie Hall    (flac  444mb)

01 Use Me 8:30
02 Friend Of Mine 3:20
03 Ain't No Sunshine 2:25
04 Grandma's Hands (With Rap) 5:08
05 World Keeps Going Around 5:08
06 Let Me In Your Life (With Rap) 4:35
07 Better Off Dead 3:36
08 For My Friend 2:58
09 I Can't Write Left Handed 6:52
10 Lean On Me 5:47
11 Lonely Town Lonely Street 3:54
12 Hope She'll Be Happier 4:23
13 Let Us Love 5:21
14 Harlem/Cold Baloney 13:07

 Bill Withers - Live At Carnegie Hall  (ogg  198mb)

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Back in March 2004 music magazine Mojo included Withers' fourth album on a list of "67 Lost Albums You Must Own." Whether 'Justments is indeed the stuff of legend remains debatable. Nothing here might be as compelling as "Grandma's Hands" or "I Can't Write Left-Handed," but there are plenty of melancholy reflections from a genuine soulman who came across more as a West coast singer/songwriter. Replacing the hired hands of his debut with former employees of Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band proved equally important in shaping Withers' identity. Not only had they been instrumental in creating a landmark with his second album Still Bill, follow-up Live at Carnegie Hall showed how easily they could replicate their unrestrained approach on-stage, performing quite a few tunes which hadn't yet appeared on a studio album. This experience further tightening a natural combination, the band was set for Withers' third studio album. The moody overtones of 'Justments suggest both band and singer might have suffered a bit from fatigue, a notion not altogether far-fetched since they would dissolve upon completing it. Not even Spanish minstrel José Feliciano could rescue a song like "Railroad Man" from getting stuck in a not unpleasant but ultimately unrewarding jam mode. Still, a few gems are worth mentioning. The spine-tingling string sections for "You" and "Ruby Lee" for instance invoke the memory of Still Bill's intriguing "Who Is He and What Is He to You." The former would be released as a single and crack the Top 15 R&B chart, as would "Heartbreak Road" and "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh." The demise of Sussex led to both the labels' catalog and Withers himself being transferred to Columbia. Though some of its feel would always shine through his releases for his new employer, 'Justments stands out for being the last album where the artist's unique character takes the foreground rather than being mostly left to drown in a glossy production.



 Bill Withers - +'Justments    (flac  196mb)

01 You 5:18
02 The Same Love That Made Me Laugh 3:23
03 Stories 2:42
04 Green Grass 3:08
05 Ruby Lee 3:16
06 Heartbreak Road 3:06
07 Can We Pretend 3:47
08 Liza 3:02
09 Make A Smile For Me 3:14
10 Railroad Man 6:24

   (ogg   mb)

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