This Saturday — two screenings ONLY – “Still Bill” – July 3rd 2010, at the Eclectic Company Theatre.
Singer-songwriter Bill Withers once humbly opined about himself, “I think I”™m kind of like pennies. You have “™em in your pocket but you don”™t remember they”™re there.”
Can it be possible that – at the time he uttered these words – this marvelous singer didn”™t realize how unforgettable his voice and his hit songs truly were?
Born July 4, 1938, William Harrison “Bill” Withers, Jr. is an American musician with a distinctive baritone. This is a man who managed to overcome the affliction of a debilitating stutter and go on to attain a degree of fame, performing and recording from 1970 until 1985. Some of his best-known songs are Lean on Me, Ain”™t No Sunshine, Use Me, Just the Two of Us, Lovely Day and Grandma’s Hands.
According to wikipedia, his first single, Ain”™t No Sunshine, was released in September 1971, becoming a breakthrough hit for Withers and reaching the number six position on the U.S. R&B chart and number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
As reported in Rolling Stone magazine, when the thirty-one-year-old Withers recorded Ain”™t No Sunshine, his first chart hit, he was still working at a factory making toilet seats for 747 airplanes. Withers originally intended to write more lyrics for the portion of the song where he repeats the phrase “˜I know”™ twenty-six times, but the other musicians told him to leave it the way it was.
“I was this factory worker puttering around,” Withers said. “So when they said to leave it like that, I left it.”
Ain”™t No Sunshine has been covered by a staggering 140 artists, including Marvin Gaye, The Police and Sting, Otis Redding, Kenny Rodgers, DMX and – my favorite cover version – The Rockmelons, featuring Deni Hines. You can see a full list of the artists here.
Withers told Songfacts.com that he was inspired to write Ain”™t No Sunshine after watching the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses. He said that “I was watching…Days Of Wine And Roses, with Lee Remick and Jack Lemmon. They were both alcoholics who were alternately weak and strong. It’s like going back for seconds on rat poison. Sometimes you miss things that weren’t particularly good for you. It’s just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I’m not aware of.”
This new feature film documentary by Damiani Baker and Alex Vlack, “Still Bill,” puts the man and his music front and center.
You will want to see this film for an in-depth look at the man, to hear the wonderful songs and to fall in love with his music all over again.
Screening at The Eclectic Company Theatre
5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village, CA 91607.
Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 7 and 9 p.m.
Tickets are only $10.00
Phone: (818) 508-3003
Reserve online: [email protected]
Report by Pauline Adamek