Bill Withers has his first #1 hit song, “Lean on Me”.
Withers was the youngest of six children born in a coal mining town in West Virginia. After serving nine years in the navy, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career. Even though he had a song win a Grammy (“Ain’t No Sunshine (when I’m gone)”), he stayed with his factory job in an airplane plant, assembling toilet seats because he felt the music industry was “fickle”. He was still working there when he wrote “Lean on Me”.
It was the title and theme song of a true-story movie of high school principal Joe Clark. (Click HERE to see a clip of the movie scene when the song is sang.
The song has been recorded by numerous other artists and even hit the unofficial “Animated Hall of Fame” when it was used on an episode of the Simpsons.