Gospel Legend Lee Williams Passes Away
Gospel legend Lee Williams of the The Spiritual QC's died this morning. He was the lead singer of the award winning, quartet gospel group originating from Tupelo, Mississippi which has been in existence since 1968.
Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC's went from being a part-time gospel group to recording in 1970. The group's first recordings were a series of 45 rpm records on the Designer label out of Memphis, Tennessee. The singles were usually one side lead by Willie Ligon and the other by Lee Williams, who was principally the group bass guitarist. After Ligon's departure from the group, Williams took over lead duties and the group name changed to include his name in front. Their first national recording was in 1996 at the Georgia-based gospel label MCG Records. "Jesus Is Alive And Well" was their first album, which included the breakout hit record "I've Learned to Lean". Their second album, "Love Will Go All the Way", was released in 1998 which included a few songs from their first album and set the stage for their third album, released in 2000, named "Good Time" This reached the Top Ten of Billboard's gospel albums chart in November.
During that following year the group won Traditional Quartet of the Year at the Gospel Music Excellence Awards, and was nominated for the Best Gospel Album at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 2002, the group recorded their fourth album titled "Right On Time" at The Temple Of Deliverance Church in Memphis, Tennessee. When recording finished, the album was released to the public in the spring of 2003. In 2005, they released their fifth album titled "Tell the Angels" in Memphis again. In 2006, they released a compilation of songs with the album's name being "Soulful Healing". In the 2000's they went to SoulLink Live! the second one, then the third. In 2007, they released "So Much To Be Thankful For". and then they did a few other compilation albums including, " My Brother's Keeper", and "The Collection" in 2009. In 2009, they released their seventh actual album titled "Fall On Me". In 2010, they released another compilation album titled " Through The Years". In 2011, they released their eighth actual album titled "Living On The Lord's Side" at the Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which again had songs from Jesus Is Alive And Well. It had a few songs from Good Time, and a few other songs from older albums. Willie Ligon sung one song called "Call Him". In 2015, they made their last album, another compilation titled "Memphis Gospel, Live!"
Lee Williams began performing gospel music as young as age eight, when his uncle, a member of a group called The Gospel Stars, put together a companion group featuring him and his three brothers. Williams' uncle also formed a group called The Spiritual QC's in 1962 (QC's standing for "qualified Christian singers"), and when this outfit broke up in 1968, he took the name for his own group. Although the group toured off and on over the last three decades of the 20th century, it wasn't until the 1990's that their music was documented extensively. Williams' group peaked commercially with 2000's Good Time, which entered the Top Ten of Billboard's gospel albums, earned the group Traditional Quartet of the Year at the Gospel Music Excellence Awards, and was nominated for Best Gospel Album at the Soul Train Music Awards. His group continued to record and tour to great acclaim through the mid-2010s.
Lee Williams dealt with dementia in his later years which forced him into retirement and allowed his son to lead the group til this day. We have grown up and played his music on our station for years and he is one of the most requested artists to date. He cold stand in one place the entire time and kill an entire concert. No other artist could do that. Lee Williams will be missed.
Funeral announcements will be announced later. What is your favorite song from Lee Williams? Comment below.
My Comfort Foods