BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Close friends reflects on the life and legacy of Bill Withers.
“We called him little brother, if you didn’t know him personally when he walked in that door and he spoke to you, you would never known professional entertainer,” Bill Withers’ childhood friend Cornellus Van Thompson Jr. said.
“Lean on me,” “Just the two us,” and “Ain’t no Sunshine” are just a few of Bill Wither’s songs that music lovers turn to in tough times. Now those very lyrics are comforting fans around the world in the wake of his passing.
“I never thought of him as Bill Withers, I thought of him and he’ll tell you as little brother. I guarantee you if you walked through Beckley now, and everybody that knew him they don’t know him as Bill Withers, when they saw his picture in the paper as Bill Withers they were startled,” said Thompson.
The three time Grammy Award winner was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia and spent his early years learning at Stratton High School in Beckley, West Virginia. Although, Wither didn’t begin his professional music career until his early 30s. High school classmate Delora Robinson says she remembers Wither’s passion for music the most.
“He never forgot about his roots, he just enjoyed being in a small circle and just reminiscing,” said Robinson.
Withers will forever be remembered for writing the most loved, comforting songs in history.