Gospel Post: Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s

During the 1960’s, the Jubilee Quartet timeline had made its rounds towards their gospel period, this being a prime time for a variety of artists to step into the light, with Lee Williams and his quartet starring as one of those artists.

Background

Williams was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on July 28, 1946. Mitchell Thornton– William’s uncle and member of the transitional gospel group, The Gospel Stars— would take Williams under his wing for until he and other family members would make their own band in 1962 known as The Spiritual QC’s — QC meaning “Qualified Christian singers.”

The band had a slow start, with member Willie Ligon co-leading the band with Williams. Ligon had already been in a band since the ’60s, known as Mighty Clouds of Joy, and would be known for that band in the future. Actually, due to many conflicting factors like this, the band would split in ’68, only for Williams to pick the name back up and continue their music for his own, new group. Success was meek at first, leaving Williams to continue his job as a truck driver while they recorded music on the weekends. The success would rapidly pick up, though, during the ’90s at the success of their album, Love Will Go All the Way.

Music

Williams and his group started during the rise of contemporary gospel period, where a variety instruments were widely utilized in contrast to traditional gospel; their louder vocals also present a stark difference between the more quiet, mellow tones of the early jubilee quartet period.

Repetition was a constant throughout his songs, spouting inspiring and uplifting messages, primarily with religious background. Call and Response is also heavily used; an example can be seen in the group’s song, “Good Time,” where for when Williams hollers a statement, the background singers respond right back.

“Let’s have a” — “good time.”


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