The entire country learned to lean on songwriter Bill Withers, a West Virginia native whose music became “part of the American soundtrack.” West Virginia University assistant professor of musicology Travis Stimeling says Withers’ music was intensely personal. Withers, who was given an honorary doctorate at West Virginia University in 2017, died this week.
“Bill Withers was a sage. He was a student of the human condition and found ways to write honest, direct, and intensely personal songs in plainspoken language, memorable melodies, and infectious grooves. Beloved by thousands, he was a man of integrity who refused to be swayed by the demands of the music industry. And he spent his life championing those who needed a champion. We were lucky to live on the same planet as him.” Travis Stimeling, WVU assistant professor of musicology
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