Bill Withers was responsible for two the most popular soul songs of the 20th century: “Lean on Me” (1972) and “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971). The former is also one of the most-covered songs of all time.
Incredibly, this song was originally a B-side to a song called “Harlem.” No one paid attention until a couple of radio DJs flipped the record over. It ended up winning a Grammy for best R&B song.
The son of a coal miner, he joined the navy as a way of following in his father’s footsteps. After a stint in an aircraft factory, he ended up seeing Lou Rawls’ nightclub act. That made him decide to ditch the day job, buy a pawn shop guitar, and start making music of his own.
His other big hit was a collaboration with saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.
Read more about Bill here.