Powerful baritone voiced singer L.J. Reynolds is best known as the lead singer of the Dramatics, a role he has held for more than three decades.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Reynolds began performing as a child, when he won many awards as a dancer. However, his expressive vocals won him notoriety around Michigan, and while still in high school he became the lead singer for the group the Relations. He recorded as a solo artist in the early 70s before replacing William Howard in the Dramatics, then one of the hottest R&B groups in the country, though one beginning to mature into a purely R&B act. Reynolds recorded a numbr of hits for the group, the biggest being the top 10 "Fell For You," before again going solo in 1980. Reynolds had some solo success, the biggest being the wonderful mid-tempo hit "Key to the World," before returning to the Dramatics in the mid-80s. He has remained in the group ever since, occasionally also releasing solo albums.
In 2008, Reynolds released the Gospel album, The Message, working principally with Grammy Award winning producer Michael Powell (Anita Baker). It was his second Gospel outing, following 2001's Through the Storm. As Reynolds' put it, "R&B is my job, but Gospel is my passion." The real message of the new album was the power of redemption through change. "I've been through a lot in my life, from drug to drinking to women. But you can't live your life destroying yourself. I want to inspire people to make a change in their lives, and that through faith and the changes they make they can have a better life." Amen to that.
By Chris Rizik