Thursday, July 15, 2010

Worthy of the throne

Bill Withers, who had been manufacturing toilet seats for Lockheed Aircraft, was sitting on the throne at this very time in 1972.  Ladies and gentlemen, here was the Billboard Top 5:

1. Lean on Me, Bill Withers
2. Outa-Space, Billy Preston
3. Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond
4. Too Late to Turn Back Now, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
5. Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr.

"Lean on Me" is one of the greatest examples of honest and understated music we've ever heard here at the Sanctuary.  That is something you came to expect from Withers, a native of Slab Fork, West Virginia who was well grounded in R&B and brought a working man's perspective to his songs.  Here's a quote that originally appeared in the L.A. Times:

"When I was repairing airplanes, that was a vital gig, because you can lose a lot of lives if that job isn't done p;roperly.  Even when I was workiing on bathroom seats, this was at least constructive.  I challenge anybody: I won't sing for a month and you don't go to the bathroom for a month and let's see who comes off with less misery."

If you want to see some of that honest sweat on stage, click here and watch Withers' performance on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test of "Ain't No Sunshine" -- another phenomenal song that won him a Grammy. We have always loved this guy.


  1. Ain't no Sunshine, Great song which I have to my IPod collection. Also Lean on Me, another great song.Also was an R&B fan, even as early as my teens,my favs were The Four Tops, Temptations, Wilson Picket,The Dad used to yell at me to turn down the sound, as I blasted those records to death. I was so glad when they came out with the 8 track, no more skipping, from playing the records so much. Then ahhhhhh the cassette, and the CD, oh yes...the IPOD!!!!!
    "Ain"t to Proud to Beg" Oh such a sweet song.....and yes Bill Withers, you were on the list of greats!!!!