Although the Tupelo, Mississippi-based Spiritual QC's have existed in some form since 1968, it wasn't until the late '90s that they began recording and getting their due as a highly skilled traditional-styled black gospel group. And it wasn't until 1998 that the group started billing lead singer Lee Williams ahead of the Spiritual QC's name. The group made up for lost time, at least in a studio recording sense, with successive Billboard-charting albums released throughout the mid-2010s.
Williams began performing gospel music as young as age eight, when his uncle -- a member of a group called the Gospel Stars -- put together the Gospel Stars Junior, a companion group featuring Williams 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, Williams took the name for his own group at the time, in which he also played lead guitar. In the mid-'70s, two present-day Spiritual QC's joined the lineup: second lead vocalist Leonard Shumpert (born in Fulton, Mississippi) and lead guitarist Al Hollis (born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi).
Although the Spiritual QC's toured off and on over the last three decades of the 20th century, it wasn't until the '90s that their music was documented extensively. Through connections with their friends the Gospel Four, the Spiritual QC's entered the studio to record their first CD, Jesus Is Alive and Well, in 1996; members of the Gospel Four provided instrumental support, and their lead singer George Dean produced the record. A second album, Love Will Go All the Way, appeared in 1998, and the group -- now billed as Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's -- toured extensively behind it.
That set the stage for 2000's Good Time, which crashed into the Top Ten of Billboard's gospel chart. Accolades poured in during the next year; the group won Traditional Quartet of the Year at the Gospel Music Excellence Awards, and was nominated for Best Gospel Album at the Soul Train Music Awards. Right on Time (2003) and Tell the Angels (2005) both peaked within the Top Five of the Billboard gospel chart. Although Fall on Me (2009) was the last studio effort to fare as well, the group continued to record regularly and performed during up to 50 weeks out of a given year. ~ Steve Huey