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Your evening longread: Why Bill Withers walked away from soul music

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Image: Shutterstock/Danny Liao Photography

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

And now, every weeknight, we bring you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Bill Withers

When Bill Withers was in his 30s, he wrote the smash hit Ain’t No Sunshine. But as he got more and more famous, things got complicated – and soon he wanted to leave the industry.

(Rolling Stone, approx 15 mins reading time)

The album’s cover photo was taken during Withers’ lunch break at the factory; you can see him holding his lunch pail. “My co-workers were making fun of me,” he says. “They thought it was a joke.” Still unconvinced that music would pay off, he held on to his day job until he was laid off in the months before the album’s release. Then, one day, “two letters came in the mail. One was asking me to come back to my job. The other was inviting me on to Johnny Carson.” The Tonight Show appearance, in November 1971, helped propel “Ain’t No Sunshine” into the Top 10, and the follow-up, “Grandma’s Hands,” reached Number 42.

Read all the Evening Longreads here> 

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