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For more then three decades, Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's made music for little but love - love the gospel
message, memorable melodies, sweet harmony and a beat that just refuses to let feet sit still - and none of that has changed one bit.
At the same time, almost everything else surrounding this dynamic foursome in recent years could read like a novel, if it wasn't the honest-to goodness truth.
Hot on the heels of Lee Williams & the QC's break-through debut smash album, ''Love Will Go All The Way'' featuring the national chart-topping hit, ''I've Learned To Lean" came their eagerly anticipated MCG Records follow up, ''Good Time," a riveting. 13-song testimony of love and faith rocking R&B/Gospel to stirring balladry and powerful anthems.
Recorded before a packed house of 4,000 in Memphis, Tennessee, "Good Time" cemented Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's place in the pantheon of legendary Gospel Quartets when it leapt into the Billboard Gospel Top 10 in only its second week of release.
On an album filled with hits, several cuts stand out for Lee Williams, especially, the title cut of "Good Time" - an instant radio smash. "I see this as an invitation," says Lee. "I want to let people know that
when they come to see us, they are welcome to leave their troubles at the door, do what you feel, and come on, let's have a good time come!!"
Having spent much of his life ''paying the rent'' as a truck-driver in his hometown, says Lee ''I was at a truck stop one day," he remembers, "and if you're a driver you're never a stranger to another driver. I was sitting around the table talking and drinking coffee with some fellows, and one guy was telling me about his son who had been in trouble and was looking for a way out. The kid was thinking if he just left town that would solve his problem. But his father tried to explain to him that when you've done wrong, you can't run and you can't hide from it. That hit me, and it stayed with me. I related that to the story of Jonah in the Bible, who was trying to go one place when God was telling him to go another. and nothing worked out for him until he stopped fighting with God. I can relate to that in my own life, every song that I've written is founded in the Scripture, and is something i relate to very closely myself.''
"I was talking to my mother one day," says Lee, "and she was very upset with one of my brothers over something he'd done. She's a very honest woman, and she's never been one to bite her tongue about anything! I remember her saying, ''You can listen now, or you don't have to, but whatever you do, you're going to have to stand for that yourself. It won't be me! When it's all said and done, we - personally - have to answer for the things we ourselves have or have not done." That ring of truth and firsthand experience resonates as well in the soulful, steady-rolling song ''Personally'' that explains another hit from the album.
Lee Williams was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he still lives today, in a strong church-going household where making music was a regular part of his life. Lee had an uncle in a quartet called the Gospel Stars that was popular in and around Tupelo. When he was seven, Lee and his three older brothers formed their own group. The boys were talented, becoming known as The Gospel Stars Juniors. It was that same uncle who formed the first Spiritual QC's, which included Lee's brother Willie on guitar. When that act disbanded in 1964, Lee and Willie hung onto the name and assembled new personnel to round out the group.
Lee and the QC's built a strong local and regional following, but chose to perform only on weekends and holidays, maintaining their family church and community lives in Tupelo. It wasn't until a self-produced cassette of some of the group songs made its way into the hands of Memphis radio announcers in the early 90's that the QC's world begin to change.
Almost as soon as ''Learned To Lean'' hit the streets and the airwaves, Lee & the QC's soared from a solid regional following in and around Mississippi and the Southeast United States to national renown almost overnight, still packing ever large venues across America.
"It was gospel music that played a major role in the birth of R&B soul and rock 'n' roll," says Lee. ''They all borrowed from us. We've cranked it up considerably since the old days, but the heart of our sound has been consistent for years."
As the pride of Tupelo is embraced across America and beyond, Lee Williams says it's not hard for him and the Spiritual QC's to keep a healthy perspective on themselves and their music.
"People have shared so many testimonies with us about what these songs have done in their lives,'' Lee concludes. ''It's humbling, and it really shows me that God's message can come in all kinds of packages. All I can say is I thank him for allowing us to help carry that message to the world.''
Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's are --
- Lee Williams - lead vocals
- Leonard Shumpert - second lead
- Tommy Harris - bass guitar
- Al Hollis - lead guitar
Hit songs include --
Other notable songs include --
- Right on Time
- Nobody But You
- Great Day
Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's may be available for your next special event.
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Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's for your special event,
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