Old school soul singer Lenny Williams is famous for one of music’s most iconic songs, “Cause I Love You.” He’s also a native of Little Rock, the third stop on the #TJMSTour.
“I grew up in Oakland but I was born in Little Rock. I made my grand entrance right there. I left when I was 18 months old but I came back every summer. Every summer, up in Granite Mountain.”
If you thought chickens going from getting their neck wrung to the kitchen table back in the days was some kind of urban legend, Williams wants you to know it’s not. He remembers you had to be quick in order to avoid the worst task of all – retreiving the chicken head from up under the houses back then.
“You had to be like a linebacker once that chicken separated from that body because you didn’t want to go up under that house. There were no foundations on those houses so it might be spiders or snakes up under there. We’d play Hide and Seek and Hide and Go Get It,” Williams says.
In Oakland, Williams met Tower of Power years before they were hitmakers. He had a record out, then met Larry Graham and started co-writing with him. Williams and Tower of Power were together for ‘2 prolific years’ making the hit “What Is Hip” one of Tom Joyner’s personal favorites.
But Williams’ biggest hit was “Cause I Love You.” He says if his vocal sounds particularly passionate, it’s because Andrae and Sandra Crouch were in the studio that day and he had to sound good in front of them.
There is more to the backstory of “Cause I Love You.” Yes, he and his girl were going through something at the time. Asked where that girl is now, Williams says “She’s in the bed.”
Williams has a blues album out called Lenny Williams Sings The Blues. He’ll be appearing in Little Rock in the near future. Williams is also among one of the most sampled artists in the business and he’s happy about it.
“I told my wife I’m going to move near the mailbox,” he quips.
Lenny Williams On Growing Up In Little Rock, Inspiring The Younger Generation was originally published on blackamericaweb.com