Chat Lenny LeBlanc writes his thoughts and sings from the soul
Giving up a successful career in music, especially being a member of a leading pop group in the 70s wasn’t easy. But when Lenny LeBlanc found his true calling, it didn’t take him long to walk out to do something else. Lenny says he was 30 years old and success meant a lot to him, besides earning him the dollars. But “nothing mattered at all and I didn’t have a clue of how I would begin assembling things once again. I felt the jolt almost instantly and even then I seemed to be happy,” recollects Lenny.
To make ends meets he did skilled carpentry work to earn a modest living and along the way began building and designing handmade furniture. Even now, his second avocation after music is the creation of high-end pieces he designs, creates and sometimes sells.
In town for a concert and on his second visit to the country, Lenny sayshe loves to see the joy in people’s faces when they sing in praise of the Lord.
It is said that it was nearly impossible to turn on the radio in the late 70s without hearing Lenny LeBlanc’s hit ballad, ‘Falling.’ “I was an integral part of the phenomenon that became known as Muscle Shoals Music. That was one part of my life; the second part of me as a singer mostly saw me writing my thoughts which were a discussion with God. I was mostly thanking him for his grace and letting me pray to him. As I sing my songs, sometimes it makes me cry and that’s because of the connect I see with the audience,” says Lenny.
A self-taught musician, Lenny describes his childhood as “somewhere between dirt poor and middle class.” His first real experience with music came with the discovery of an old upright piano in his aunt’s dark basement. That initial encounter with an old instrument awakened the gift within him. But the first time he sang, it was for his brother’s friends.
“We were all sitting and these older kids were playing. They asked me to sing; I took the song book and began to sing. I was termed ‘cool.’ That incident made us form a group that year and we went to compete in a school talent show. We won that show. I was shy so I sang with my back to the stage and hands in my pocket and we still made it,” he recollects.
PRABALIKA M. BORAH