Bill Withers – Born on This Day, 1938

William Harrison Withers Jr. (1938 – 2020) was an American musician – soul and R&B singer and songwriter. Withers was best known for his “smooth” baritone vocals and for writing and recording “Ain’t No Sunshine,” (1971), “Lovely Day” (1977), “Just a two of Us“ (1981).

Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for six more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Lovely Day

“Lovely Day” is a song written by Withers and Skip Scarborough. It was released on the 21st of December, 1977, and appears on Withers’s 1977 album, Menagerie.

The song is notable for Withers’s sustained note towards the end. Withers held a high E note for 18 seconds. It is believed to be one of the longest ever recorded on an American pop song, and the second-longest note in UK chart history. Morten Harket of A-ha’s 20-second note in “Summer Moved On” is the longest.

Producer Clarence McDonald also arranged the original 1977 version of the song and played keyboards. Guitars were played by Ray Parker Jr., Jerry Knight played bass, and Russ Kunkel played drums.

Photo: Bill Withers, 1977, Lovely Day, Columbia Records

Bill Withers – Studio albums:

Just as I Am (1971)

Still Bill (1972)

+’Justments (1974)

Making Music (1975)

Naked & Warm (1976)

Menagerie (1977)

‘Bout Love (1978)

Watching You, Watching Me (1985)

Live album:

Live at Carnegie Hall (1973)

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