Bill Withers 1973 BBC Concert Rare Complete


Slab Fork, West Virginia, a town of about 200 residents, was Bill Withers’ place of birth. The youngest of six children, he was raised in nearby Beckley, in coal mining country. Withers’ father, a miner, died when Withers was 13. At 17, enlistment in the Navy was Bill’s ticket out.

Withers arrived in Los Angeles in 1967. His self-financed demos on which Watts 103rd Street Band member Ray Jackson served as arranger and keyboardist, led Jackson to introduce him to Forrest Hamilton. Hamilton then introduced Withers to Clarence Avant of Sussex Records who tapped Booker T. Jones to produce Bill’s debut album. This resulted in the album Just As I Am with the Grammy-winning “Ain’t No Sunshine” and the much-loved “Grandma’s Hands.” The pragmatic Withers — who was now able to leave his straight gig at an aircraft company — subsequently assembled the remaining members of the Watts 103rd Street Band for U.S. and international tours.

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00:00 Ain’t no Sunshine
03:18 Lonely Town, Lonely Street
09:14 Grandma’s Hands
11:47 Use Me
16:06 Let Me In Your Life
20:20 Lean On Me
24:43 Harlem

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