Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bill Withers: Lean On Me

It’s TV Thursday and today’s song comes from the latest Brawny commercial that features the song, “Lean on Me.” Unfortunately, Bill Withers’ version is not being used for this particular ad. In my opinion, the remake doesn’t hold a candle to Bill’s original. Here’s a live version of his number one hit from 1972.

In addition to Bill’s playing a grand piano, there is another keyboardist playing a Wurlitzer Electric Piano – the same keyboard arrangement of two pianos is also found on the studio recording.

Withers was born in the coal mining camp of Slab Fork, WV, which is about 15 miles from Beckley, WV where I live. Bill’s formative years were spent in Beckley.

Studio Version

I had the opportunity to sit next to Mr. Withers during the graduation ceremony at Mountain State University when he received his honorary doctorate in 2002. I found him to be a very pleasant man who was full of wisdom.

May 2002 Mountain State University Commencement
Speaker of the House Bob Kiss, MSU President - Dr. Charles H. Polk, the author, Bill Withers

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