Leon D. Williams

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b. 10 December 1944, Bamboo, St. Ann, Jamaica, West Indies. Williams was raised in an agricultural environment before leaving Jamaica at the age of nine to settle with his parents in England. By this…
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b. 10 December 1944, Bamboo, St. Ann, Jamaica, West Indies. Williams was raised in an agricultural environment before leaving Jamaica at the age of nine to settle with his parents in England. By this time, he had already developed a keen interest in music and his singing and dancing skills eventually led to his involvement with UK-based soul bands. In 1965, the Commercial Entertainment group recognized Williams' talents and he spent the next few years performing with his hugely popular Soul Explosion revue. He played at all the major clubs as well as US and UK army bases while also performing on the university circuit. The success of his shows led to a contract with the Mecca Agency, which arranged for the revue to perform in Europe. Williams and the Soul Explosion had gained a significant following on the continent by the close of the decade. In the second half of the 60s he dominated the UK soul scene, alongside Geno Washington And The Ram Jam Band and Freddie Mac. In 1970, Williams signed to Bell Records and later enjoyed considerable success with his hugely popular reggae version of Billy Joe Royal's "Down In The Boondocks", released through Trojan Records.

Over the years that followed, Williams remained a firm favourite on the live circuit but following the birth of his daughter in 1977 he decided to ease off from performing. During his time away from the spotlight, he studied at drama school and subsequently put his acting abilities to good use on UK television productions that included The Saint, Petticoat Junction, Us Girls, Don't Tell Father, The Bill, and The Knock. By 1985, Williams was drawn towards his musical career again and teamed up with Desmond Dekker on a series of live performances and recordings. He quickly re-established himself as a talented singer while also making his mark as a successful producer. His production credits include sessions with Dekker, Dawn Penn, Laurel Aitken, Derrick Morgan and Delroy Wilson. In the 90s, Williams decided to return to his roots and began working on his own recording career. The Soul Explosion re-formed and accompanied him on a nationwide tour, aimed at reviving the reggae/soul sounds and promoting his new album, You Sexy Thing. The album featured his 70s hit alongside versions of "Johnny Too Bad", "Dance Crasher", "This Monday Morning Feeling", and the title track. This artist is sometimes confused with Delroy Williams of Studio One's Mad Lads.