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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