LENNY WILLIAMS

ALEX

Oakland, California native Lenny Williams possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music. With his rich, passionate vocal style, he is rightfully regarded as one of R & B's most influential soul men. Williams began his musical career making records that have subsequently become R & B and Pop classics, tunes like the mega-hit "Cause I love You" (recorded on his solo album) and "So Very Hard To Go', which he recorded as the lead singer for Tower of Power.

Lenny's style has transcended into the new millennium, influencing many of today's newest R & B and Pop vocalists. Lenny himself sounds better than ever, and can be heard on his new single "Tuesday" and his soon to be released album "It Must Be Love" on LenTom Records.

After winning several local talent contests, Williams signed his first record deal with Fantasy records. He cut two singles for the label including "Lisa's Gone", now regarded as an R & B classic among British soul music lovers, and "Feelin Blue", written by John Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival. Lenny then spent a brief spell with Atlantic Records before deciding to put his solo career on hold in 1972, when he joined the emerging funk band Tower of Power.

A string of hits ensued, including " So Very Hard To Go', and "Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of The Stream)", written by Lenny and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

During his two years with the group, Lenny participated in three milestone albums, the gold LP Tower Of Power, Back To Oakland, and Urban Renewal, while touring non-stop throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.


But it was another Casey/Finch original, "Rock Your Baby," that R&B artist George McCrae scored a hit with in 1974 as KC & the Sunshine Band began issuing further albums and singles, quickly scoring big hits on their own. The group then began an impressive run of disco hits: 1977's "Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty)," "I'm Your Boogieman," "Keep It Comin' Love," "Boogie Shoes" (the latter included on the monster-selling soundtrack to the hit John Travolta disco movie, Saturday Night Fever), 1979's "Do You Wanna Go Party," and 1980's "Please Don't Go." Despite earning nine Grammy nominations (receiving three awards) and selling millions of records, KC & the Sunshine Band were still susceptible to the backlash that disco bands felt by the dawn of the '80s, eventually leading to dwindling sales and the group's split by the early '80s (although KC scored a moderate solo hit in 1983 with "Give It Up"). Come the '90s, an appreciation of everything '70s swept across the U.S., which led to a renewed interest bands from the era, prompting KC & the Sunshine Band to re-form for concert performances. That decade saw the release of countless KC "hits" collections and even an episode of VH1's popular Behind the Music series that studied the group's ups and downs

 

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