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Keeping original Memphis
soul music alive and well.

I’m John Gary Williams, original and current lead singer of The Mad Lads, one of America's most enduring soul music groups.


The Mad Lads got our start in the early days of STAX Records in Memphis, Tenn., with labelmates like Otis Redding and the Staples Singers. Our early hits included "Don't Have to Shop Around," "I Want Someone," "I Want a Girl" and "Make This Young Lady Mine."

My singing was interrupted, to say the least, by the Vietnam War. And shortly after the completion of my first solo album, STAX Records' early 1970s involuntary bankruptcy put an end to my recording days. But I never stopped writing music or believing in its beauty and power.

I miss my fellow original group members and dear friends Julius Green, William Brown and Robert Phillips, who have passed away. But today, along with my brother Richard, I have re-formed The Mad Lads to ensure that our music endures. Our original fans still love to get up and dance, and a new generation is embracing original soul music just like the world did when we started creating it. For booking information, please reach out. We love meeting fans all over the world.

This year, there are a few other exciting projects to share with you.

I am continuing to write and record new songs as a solo artist; my first single in many years, "A Natural Kind of Thing," is available for order on vinyl or digital download.

Concord Music Group has also reissued my 1973 solo album on vinyl, which you can also order here through my friends at Shangri-La Records in Memphis.

And I am telling my life story through a documentary film — the details of which will be shared here as we get closer to its debut.

Thank you for your support and friendship. Mad Lads forever!

Booking inquiries


Forthcoming documentary


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