Movies: Before There Was "The King's Speech"
Before there was The King's Speech there was a much smaller but just as interesting movie that addressed stuttering called Still Bill. The 2009 documentary is about the singer Bill Withers, who performed hits like Aint No Sunshine, Lean On Me, and Grandma's Hands but has generally resisted writing or touring in the last 30 years despite ongoing interest in his music. But it's also about stuttering, a problem Withers experienced until the age of 28 and which still appears now and then in his speech. There's an amazing scene where Withers goes to see a group of kids who stutter, along with lots of fascinating stuff about how stuttering affected his demeanor. (There are also some fascinating cameos by Tavis Smiley, Sting, and others.) Why am I writing about a two year old movie? Well I saw a mention of the movie in a Vanessa Grigoriadis profile of Justin Timberlake in Vanity Fair (she described Timberlake as the current era's closest approximation to Sammy Davis Jr.) and just watched it online via Netflix instantwatch. Image via