Folk singer Lori Lieberman and her producers were searching for one final song to complete her album, A Thousand Dreams, for Columbia Records.
The story of “Bridge,” as it’s often referred, is one of a songwriting giant, a great collaborator, and a gospel icon; a cycle of doctrine to the masses and then back; and a message of comfort and hope to listeners worldwide.
Written by Simon, and sung together with his friend and longtime collaborator Art Garfunkel, the song was released as a single in 1966 and included on the 1968 “Bookends” album, their fourth studio collection together. It rose to number 13 on the Billboard charts. Years later, in 1987, the song would be repurposed as a cover by the band, The Bangles, as part of the soundtrack for Marek Kanievska's film, “Less Than Zero.” The cover version reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
The seventh track on the eponymous “White Album” and the b-side release of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” marked his emergence as an elite songwriter and has been hailed by fans and critics alike as among the best Beatles songs of all time. In addition to the celebrated hard rock version, an acoustic outtake was released on the 1996 Anthology with Paul McCartney playing harmonium, and later on the Love compilation with George Martin’s final string arrangement for the group.
Drummer, front-man, music journalist, historian, and educator Questlove refers to his hero Bill Withers as, “the last African-American Everyman.” Of himself, Withers claims he’s, “not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with.” Grammy Award-winning and Hall of Fame songwriter Bill Withers composed timeless songs from the soul that will live in R&B, rock and pop music for lifetimes to come, though he spent just over eight years in the music industry.