Lenny Williams

Soul and jazz vocalist Lenny Williams – born on February 16, 1945, in Little Rock, Arkansas – is best known for his stint as lead vocalist for Tower of Power in the early 1970s. Although born in Arkansas, his family moved to Oakland, California before he turned 1. He began to study the trumpet while in elementary school but gravitated towards singing after performing with gospel choirs and local Bay Area groups. During these formative years, he performed with several big-name artists including Billy Preston, Sly Stone, Andraé Crouch, and others. Signing a solo deal with Fantasy Records, Lenny Williams released two singles for the label – “I Couldn’t Find Nobody” (1968) and “I’d Cry Ever Minute of the Day” (1969) – and one for Fantasy-subsidiary label Galaxy. After one more single for Atlantic Records, Lenny Williams took a break from his solo career and, in 1972, he joined Bay Area-based Soul / Funk band Tower of Power. He sang on three albums for the group – Tower of Power (1973), Back to Oakland (1974), and Urban Renewal (1975) – and a handful of singles before exiting the group and continuing his solo career. He had recorded the solo album Pray for the Lion (1974) during his time with Tower of Power which was released on Warner Bros. Records but by the time of his 1975 album Rise Sleeping Beauty, he had signed with Motown. Moving over to ABC Records (later bought by MCA), he released a series of albums Including Choosing You (1977), Spark of Love (1978), and Taking Chances (1981). He scored several chart hits during this period including "Shoo Doo FuFu Ooh" (1977), "You Got Me Running" (1978), “Midnight Girl” (1978), and "Love Hurt Me Love Healed Me" (1979). After leaving MCA, Lenny Williams recorded for several independent labels throughout the rest of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Not as prolific as he once was, Lenny Williams continued to tour and added acting to his resume, performing in several stage productions. In February 2022, he released a collaboration with vocalist Shirley Jones, who sang with him on a rerecorded version of his 2006 song “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like You Do”.

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