Although Lenny Williams has had a long solo career, he is still best-known for his three years as the lead singer of Tower of Power, one of the top funk/soul bands of the '70s. But Williams was pursuing a solo career before joining Tower of Power, and he resumed his solo career after leaving that famous Oakland outfit in 1975. Born in Little Rock, AR, on February 6, 1945, Williams was only a child when he started singing in church (the place where so many great R&B singers got their start). Williams, who moved to Oakland, CA, when he was 14, planned to become a Christian minister but ended up changing his mind and decided to pursue a career as a secular R&B singer. In 1969, Williams signed with Fantasy and recorded his first single, "Lisa's Gone," a soul ballad that was far from a big hit, but did receive some airplay in the Bay Area. After providing a second single for Fantasy, Williams was signed to Atlantic by Jerry Wexler and recorded a version of the Thom Bell/Linda Creed gem "People Make the World Go Round." Williams' version might have been a hit -- had it not been for the Stylistics, that is. Unfortunately for Williams, the Stylistics' famous version of "People Make the World Go Round" came out as a single and soared to the top of the charts before Atlantic had a chance to release Williams' version. (Michael Jackson also recorded the tune in the early '70s, although not with the same set of lyrics that the Stylistics embraced). But that setback was hardly the end of Williams' career; in 1972, he was hired as the new lead singer of Tower of Power. Because the band's previous lead singer, Rick Stevens (best-known for his soaring performance on the hit ballad "You're Still a Young Man") had recently been convicted of murder, a replacement was needed, and Williams was definitely the man for the job.