My uncle Claude was my favorite uncle he was also my godfather. He and I were really, really close. He used to take me to see cowboy movies all the time when I was a little boy because I loved cowboy movies. He got a cowboy name for me, which was Smokey Joe. So from the time I was three years old if people asked me what my name was I didn't tell them my name was William, I told them my name was Smokey Joe.
I always try to write a song, I never just want to write a record. Originally I was not writing songs for myself. ....And I can say this, most of the people who have recorded my songs are songwriters themselves. ... Even if I don't release it myself, somebody else might hear it and want to record it. When you write a song, it gives it that potential. When you write a song, a song has longevity. ... So I wanted to sing inspirational music, and that's exactly how I approached it-only the words have been changed to declare my relationship with God. Songwriting is my gift from God.
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My philosophy on writing a song for myself is that I always, always, always want to write a song. I always want to write a song. I realize that as a record producer or a singer or whatever I might not, if I recorded on myself or someone else, the first time out I might not give it the right treatment, so that the world or many people will accept it and it'll be a public hit, or anything like that.