LOS ANGELES — Sondra “Blinky” Williams, the legendary gospel and Motown star, appears in the upcoming Dennis Quaid led biopic REAGAN, with a brief cameo playing a member of young Reagan’s church.

Wiliams, an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, is known for singing the female lead on the theme song for the 1970s TV series, “Good Times,” her many albums, and her hit duet with Edwin Starr on “Oh How Happy.” She also recorded “T’aint Nobody’s Business If I Do” for the film Lady Sings The Blues and toured with Sammy Davis, Jr.

“I was excited to play a church lady at Ronald Reagan’s church and especially to be there for his baptism,” Williams said. “I later learned that his was one of those rare churches that was integrated during that period of time which made it even more special. In a time of great division, I’m hoping that this movie will help to unite those who may disagree on a host of issues, but love each and other and our country.”

Born Sondra Williams in 1944 in Oakland, California, her childhood name “Blink-Blink” came from her habit of frequently blinking her eyes. Later, in high school, it morphed into “Blinky.” In 1959, at 14, she was a founding member of the famed gospel group the COGICs, alongside Edna Wright, Frankie Karl, Gloria Jones, Billy Preston, Andrae’ Crouch, and Sandra Crouch.

Still professionally known as Sondra Williams, she released her first solo single on Vee-Jay Records in 1964, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands/Heartaches.” Changing over to mainstream music, she caught the attention of the Temptations’ Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks while performing at the Los Angeles celebrity disco hangout Maverick’s Flat. Motown billed her as “Blinky” and she began touring regularly as an opening act for the Temptations, an arrangement that would last two years.

In June ’72, she rejoined Andrae’ Crouch, singing background alongside Crouch’s sister Sandra for his performance at the five-day evangelistic conference and concerts in Dallas titled Explo ’72. It was considered the biggest evangelistic event of the decade, and it had a major impact on the development of the Christian music industry. “Blinky,” still one of the most widely heard soul singers of her era, continues to release music, including her most recent 2-CD compilation of tracks from the Motown vaults.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, REAGAN was shot in Oklahoma and California and follows Ronald Reagan from his dusty small-town roots to the glitter of Hollywood, and then on to commanding the world stage. REAGAN is directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer, Miracle Season).

REAGAN is a cinematic experience that transcends the boundaries of a traditional biopic, offering a profound exploration of the enduring impact of the power of one man who overcame the odds, sustained by the love of a woman who supported him in his journey. Told through the voice of Viktor Petrovich, a former KGB agent whose life becomes inextricably linked with Ronald Reagan’s when Reagan first catches the Soviets’ attention as an actor in Hollywood, this film offers a perspective as unique as it is captivating.

REAGAN, starring Dennis Quaid, will be released in theaters nationwide through ShowBiz Direct on August 30, 2024. The film will be the wide-release debut from the recently launched studio led by former exhibition veteran Kevin Mitchell, former Lionsgate distribution president Richie Fay, and former co-president of Open Road distribution Scott Kennedy.

In addition to Quaid and Williams, the REAGAN cast includes Academy Award® winner Jon Voight; Golden Globe nominee Penelope Ann Miller; BAFTA nominee Mena Suvari; Emmy Award & Golden Globe Award nominee Kevin Dillon, and Disney star David Henrie.

To watch the official trailer for REAGAN, click here.

3 Comments

  1. Juanita Robinson June 29, 2024 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Blinky, I just learned so much more about it. May God continue to bless you 🙏

  2. Viola Gomez June 30, 2024 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Congrats on all your accomplishments. What a blessing! May you continue to be blessed in all your endeavors. Much love ♥️😘

  3. Ruth Robinson June 30, 2024 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Blinky has always been one of my favorite singers. Beautiful voice, beautiful person.

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.