My Time to Shine

The Story of the Fabulous LCB

Non-Fiction - Memoir
128 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2019
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Author Biography

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Michael Willard has had a varied career as a newsman, political and policy advisor to U.S. Senators, senior public relations and advertising counselor, author, publisher, artist and entrepreneur. His primary emphasis today is writing both fiction and non-fiction and representing and raising the profile and enhancing the reputation of promising authors and leading business executives.
Over the years, Willard has written 16 books, equally divided between novels and books on marketing and public relations. Willard spent 22 years at the helm of advertising and public relations companies in Eastern Europe and Turkey. He is a former executive vice president of the worldwide PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Willard was director of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd's Democratic Leader's office when Byrd held that position. Willard also served as communications director to then Gov. John D. Rockefeller in his successful Senate bid.
Early in his career, Willard was a reporter on various newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Times. He is a native of Vidalia, Ga.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

My Time to Shine: The Story of the Fabulous LCB is a nonfiction memoir written by Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, Joe Blunt, and J. Michael Willard. Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, and Joe Blunt grew up in the same Washington DC area. While their mothers wanted them to concentrate their vocal gifts on singing in the church choir, the three boys found harmonizing on street corners and eventually in groups to be a logical extension of their craft. The sixties was in many respects a turning point for music, a perfect storm for talented singers who were willing to put in the work to make music their livelihood. The three seemed about to hit it big when the record company they had hooked up with put the project on hold. Glenn Leonard was eventually signed on by The Temptations and was the lead singer for that group through much of the seventies and eighties. Joe Coleman sang with The Platters for two decades as well as establishing himself as a songwriter and a playwright. Joe Blunt won Sony’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his decade spent performing with The Drifters. The three are now back again, singing together as LCB, and while they still sing the classic hits that make everyone stop and remember, they’re also adding on new classics as they continue playing together.

My Time to Shine is delightful reading indeed. Learning about each of these performers, who gave us so many songs as we were growing up, is illuminating and powerful. And while older boomers may get the most out of this marvelous work, I doubt there’s anyone out there who hasn’t stopped to listen to the songs these three men sang. I loved learning more about the Drifters, the Platters and the Temptations and the way legacy groups such as these differed from other groups. I also found Willard’s interleaving of the stories of Leonard, Coleman, and Blunt gave the reader a seamless and moving account. The photographs included work quite well at refreshing the memory, as well. As I reached the part of the book that concerns their new group, I couldn’t resist going to YouTube and watching their introduction to the group. Reading My Time to Shine left me feeling enriched by the experience. It’s well written and has heart. My Time to Shine: The Story of the Fabulous LCB is most highly recommended.

Vincent Dublado

For the pre-MTV generation, fans of The Temptations, The Platters, and The Drifters are familiar with the names Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, and Joe Blunt. Now collectively known as LCB, these respective ex-frontmen of the aforementioned bands reverberate in the annals of the suave early rock and roll era with their distinctive sounds that introduced a new genre with roots that trace to R&B. J. Michael Willard’s My Time to Shine is a humble autobiography that pays homage to the legacy of these three legends. Written with as much finesse as its subjects, it gives us an up close and personal look at the highs and lows not only of the LCB as a collective but also on their individual struggles and how they emerged triumphant against the pervasive system in the music industry that puts more emphasis on commercialism than music.

Mr. Willard, in retrospect, is earnest and objective. He wastes no time in getting into the dynamics of failure and success that is revealing but reserved. It is a ripe testimony to the power not only of music but of the human spirit. The LCB as soul brothers withstood the test of time and though they may not be aware of it, their brand of music broke through the status quo that confined men and women of their color. A heap of photographs of former bandmates, friends, and acquaintances amplifies the reader’s trip to the past. To listen to LCB and to read their life story are flirtations with nostalgia.

Lesley Jones

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, everyone knew of The Temptations, The Drifters and The Platters. Their lyrics are still remembered to this day. But who are the lead singers and what makes their journey from a Baptist background in Washington DC to sell-out tours around the world so intriguing? Take an inside look into the lives of Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman and Joe Blunt, former members of The Temptations, The Drifters and The Platters respectively. How did these men, with such different personalities, cope with the trials and tribulations of becoming famous, only to lose notoriety then join together to form LCB decades later? This memoir is an in-depth, honest look at the ups and downs of the brutal music industry and how their determination and ambition saw them through the lows of their careers and personal lives. How do they remain as popular today and what makes them still have a passion and love for music?

My Time to Shine by Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman, Joe Blunt, and J. Michael Willard is such an interesting read, not only for fans of these three outstanding musicians but also as an inspiration for anyone who wants to achieve any goal. We sometimes forget the struggle many successful people had before they achieved stardom and the grit and determination these men showed were incredible. I loved the references to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War and how these two events had a profound effect on their songwriting. I loved the photographs at the end and the song lyrics throughout. The story of their childhoods and the people who made an impact on their lives was relayed beautifully and it is astonishing to believe how close they all came to not becoming singers at all, especially Leonard, whose father pushed him into a baseball career. The history behind some of their famous lyrics was really insightful as were the references to ethnic discrimination, which the three men seemed determined not to hold them back from their dreams. This would make a perfect gift for any lover of nostalgia as this will take you back to a time when song lyrics were like poetry.