Lenny Kerley, a Benton, Illinois native, played with the following bands prior to joining The Cryan' Shames: The Kingmen, Galaxies, and formed his own group The Novos prior to a tour in the U.S. Army. Following the Army, he was in The Squires with Alan Dawson (who was later to join The Cryan' Shames with Lenny.) In early 1967, Lenny took Gerry Stone's place as guitar player for The Cryan' Shames, and his newly written song "Mr.Unreliable" became one of their next hits. The Cryan Shames, opened for stars like Jimi Hendrix in the late �€˜60s. “We were a fairly big group with 3 albums on Columbia Records and many number one hits - especially in the Chicago area.
As quoted from the May 1968 Cryan' Shames National Fan club Newsletter: "His musical talents are many; self-taught to read and write music and play guitar, bass, and drums. Lenny is a lover of many things: true honest people, good music, fine cars, and fresh air in the open country."
After The Cryan' Shames, Lenny was a member of Possum River (1971), which included Shames members: Tom Doody, Alan Dawson, Dave Carter and Dennis Conroy, along with Dave Curtis from the Novos and Jan Knopek. They recorded a vinyl LP under the Ovation label before disbanding. He then played with another Chicago group called Good Foot with Marty Nicosia and Greg Johnson. Following Good Foot, he worked with Gene Cotten from Areola Records in Nashville, TN for one and a half years. Lenny then went on the road in the Houston, TX area as the back-up band for Gary Smith, before forming his own group "Blues Priority".
One reviewer said: Lenny Kerley & Blues Priority," delivers a high-energy stage presence and a strong sense of fun. This Chicago Bluesman is well known for sharing stage time with Jimmy Hendricks, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Howlin Wolf, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins. He also wrote the music for Tanya Scarlett's blues R&B cassette "Fashionably Late."