4 July 1938, Slab Fork, West Virginia, USA. Having moved to California in 1967 after nine years in the US Navy, Withers began hawking his original songs around several west coast companies. He was eventually signed to Sussex Records in 1970, at the age of 32, and secured an immediate hit with his debut single, Aint No Sunshine. Produced by Booker T. Jones, with Stephen Stills amongst the guest musicians, this sparse but compulsive performance was a million-seller, a feat emulated in 1972 by two more excellent releases, Lean On Me and Use Me.
Withers maintained a similarly high standard on his first three albums, but after the disappointing Live At Carnegie Hall the artist found that his record company were in financial trouble and via an auction he moved to Columbia Records, a decision that he would now seem to regret. Withers brand of gentle folk soul continued to serve him well on the singles...
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