Kenneth Williams, Engineer & Musician – Black History Month (Part 2)
February 28, 2021
By Liam Klenk
Kenneth Williams is a versatile artist and technician. He is a passionate guitarist and song writer. At the same time, Kenneth does live sound reinforcement, broadcasting and recording (Front of House and Monitors). He also takes care of concert tours and venues as a production manager. Kenneth loves what he does and literally blew me away with his inspirational ponderings and his contagious positivity. Not wanting to cut any of his words, this ended up being an interview in two parts.
Here is part two for you all… Kenneth continues in his own words:
Well what happened was, at about the same time Norman Brown wanted me to go on tour with him to be his monitor engineer, I had managed to take some songs over to Capitol Records.
I didn’t know who the president of Capitol Records was at the time. But I knew I needed to get my songs on his desk. They had MC Hammer, Peabo Bryson and some other black groups at the time and were hot!
Back then, everything was sent in a package, by courier. I got the bright idea to get myself one of the shirts with the little alligator over the breast area, a blue cap, and black pants. I looked like a courier. At best, I expected to give the package to the receptionist. But that didn’t happen…
I went to Capitol Records. They had a security guard stationed outside the door. So I walked up to him and said “I have a delivery for Gary Gersh. This package is for the president.”
The security guard barely looked up from his desk and said, “Go ahead, go up to his office and give it to his receptionist.” I couldn’t believe my luck.
I went upstairs and tried to give my package to his receptionist. But she pointed to a door and said, “Go into his office and just put the package on his desk.”
And that’s exactly what I did.
Later that evening, the president of Capitol Records called me and said “I don’t know how you got this package to me. But it was on my desk. I listened to it and I love the music! I can’t help you here though, because we just got rid of our whole urban division. But get me a few more songs and I’ll pass them around to some other people.”
Unfortunately, right about that time, my writing partner chose to stop doing anything and I was really disappointed.
Norman Brown’s offer came just at the right time. I went on tour with him and the rest is history!
During this journey, I realized relationships are everything.
People, even the most open ones, are still very compartmentalizing. Some will see you in one way. Or they will want you to fit into a certain part of their equation.
To beat the odds, you owe it to yourself to be the best YOU that you can be. And give the world all the gifts that you have to offer and want to give. Someone somewhere will be receptive. You just have to find them, or they will find you. As hard as it may be to accept sometimes, all things do serve a higher good. Even if, at the time, you might not think it’s good for you.
Going on tour with Norman opened up a whole other world for me. I started touring with different artists and have been doing that ever since.
For a while, song writing took kind of a back seat. But, as I mentioned in the first part of our interview already, during this pandemic it’s been amazing what being given time to reflect and review will allow you to do.
I’ve written songs, have studied engineering, different philosophies, and so much else. I do believe a lot of us touring type of people needed a reset and re-evaluation of what we were doing and how we were doing it.