In the early 1970s, Bay Area RnB crooner Lenny Williams was the lead vocalist for hit soul-funk combo Tower of Power. By 1975, Williams embarked on a solo career that continues to this day, releasing several good albums, flirting with disco and even doing a stint as guest vocalist for Kenny G.

Oh, yes–we forgot a small detail: for his 1978 solo album Spark of Love, Lenny recorded a little tune (ok, no so little, it clocks at 7:11) called “Cause I Love You,” which mysteriously took on a a life of its own as a MONSTER slow jam favored by church ladies, barbers, backpackers, and even the most hardened gangstas.

(In case you only hang out in the safer suburbs, “Cause I Love You” is the “Total Eclipse of the Heart” of several generations of grittier urban dwellers, a baby-makin' slab of soul ooze that elevates itself above its own sleaze to become something transcendent.)

And now the ear-molesting Golem of Luv that good ole Lenny Williams inadvertently unleashed upon the world back in the day still marches on, thriving through an underground phenomenon of fans uploading their lipsynchs onto Youtube. These are people who have been so captured by the power of Lenny's amorous pleas that they have memorized every heartwrenching word and even devised special choreography.

Move over, young girls in their thong underwear shaking your booties to inane pop songs–Youtube Lennymania is ready for the limelight!

Without further ado: Lenny Williams' “Cause I Love You,” featuring YOU!

(thanks to the lovely Ms. J. for the tip)

Sorry–if you thought “Cause I Love You” makes for a great marriage proposal, this guy has you beat:

Lenny Williams – The Next Generation:

BONUS TRACK: The great Steve Harvey paying tribute to Lenny Williams' “Cause I Love You”:

LA Weekly