Nothing Beats the ORIGINAL – James Lenox I Won’t Complain

Written by: Gregory Gay

I am sure many of you watched Sunday’s Best and heard the stirring rendition of I Won’t Complain.  It stirred the historian in me to go and pull the dust off the original.  Agree with me on this,  a song is not a song until it is thoroughly interpreted and defined by the singer.  This song is an identifiable classic and has a shelf life to prove it. Its one you can expect to hear at least once at a concert or musical when they call the soloist to “come in their own way”.  For its beginning, the late Elder James Lenox recorded God has been good to me (the original title) on his I’m One of Them Today live album for Savoy in 1982  ( please note that I’m partial to this recording as it was done in Chicago at Greater Holy Temple and Luke “Sonny” Austin offered the perfect accompaniment to Elder Lenox’s singing.  Prayer: LORD, BRING BACK THE DAYS WHEN THE  INSTRUMENTATION WAS SECOND AND THE SINGER WAS FIRST) .   The Oneal Twins would go on to record the song on their 1984 There’s a Miracle Coming Your Way Lp for Savoy.  Of course, Paul Jones took a turn at bat as well as a slew of others including Bishop William Abney and Marvin Sapp,  Karen Clark Sheard (on the Twinkie Clark presents FAMU Gospel Choir) and Doc McKenzie and the Hi-lites.

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4 Responses to “Nothing Beats the ORIGINAL – James Lenox I Won’t Complain”

  1. Lawrence C. Staton says:

    I agree. Nobody sings “I Won’t Complain” like James Lenox. Others sing it well, but Lenox gets the grammy when it comes to this song. This is the version that I play on the air here in New York City. In fact, I hadn’t heard any of the other versions of this song until after Y2K. My first encounter with this song was at my god mother’s (Evg. Johnnie Mae Felton) funeral in Tokpeka, KS back in the early ’80’s. When I got back to New York I found the album with Lenox singing it and have been playing it ever since.

  2. JOHN says:

    THANKS FOR INFORMATION

  3. MsGrannyBev says:

    I’M ADDING THIS ALBUM TO MY LIST OF ‘MUST HAVE’! I’M IN HOUSTON, TX AND HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING AS PIANIST FOR THE MT MORIAH BAPTIST CHURCH IN THE SUNNYSIDE SUBDIVISION WHERE I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO HEAR DEACON WILLIAM ‘UNCLE BILL’ LOCKETT SING THIS SONG AT RECORDING-LEVEL QUALITY EACH TIME HE GIVES A RENDITION OF IT!

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS VIDEO WITH US; I HAVE POSTED THIS TO MY FACEBOOK WALL AND RENEWED MY COMMITTMENT TO GET A VIDEO OF BRO LOCKETT SINGING THESE INSPIRATIONAL LYRICS.

  4. Roxanne says:

    I grew up in COGIC, (Union Tabernacle COGIC, Chicago IL) and Bishop Lenox was our Bishop so I grew hearing Elder Lenox sing both I Am One of Them Today and God Has Been Good to Me (I Won’t Complain). I remember singing in the combined choir for the our district. :-) Very fond memories. To hear him sing this song live over the years, he had such an annoiting and meaning behind those word. Thank you for posting this.

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