Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies



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It took quite a while for me to compile this Mix honoring one of the most influential DJ’s in radio’s history.  Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies is a dedication to Melvin Lindsey, the slow jam radio format pioneer. Lindsey, who was born and raised in Washington, DC, was the creator of the Quiet Storm show; a nightly presentation of R&B love songs.  The format is now copied around the world.  Ballads after sunset have become the staple of many FM radio stations across formats from rock to pop; so it’s hard to remember that there was a time when there was nothing special or consistent to listen to after dark.  Then, in 1976, a young intern named  Melvin Lindsey got the chance to host a show for WHUR FM, Howard University’s radio station in Washington, DC.   Lindsey slowed things down for the night and listeners have been responding to that format ever since.

Melvin Lindsey’s love of slow tempo music featured the best and in many cases some of the most unknown artists in R&B.  The term slow jam was coined describing the sound.

Lindsey broadcasted in Washington for nearly 15 years, first with the Quiet Storm on WHUR, then with Melvin’s Melodies on WKYS.  He was the star of the night on KYS; while radio and T.V. personality Donnie Simpson hosted the morning show.  What a time for radio!

There is still a beautiful residue of Lindsey’s style lingering in Washington, but like so much of what made radio great, it too is fading.   To compile songs that reflect Lindsey’s taste was a challenge that I tried to overcome by focusing on his favorite groups like Heatwave, Con Funk Shun and Enchantment; as well his favorite singers like Patti LaBelle.

None of these songs were huge hits on Billboard; for instance, the group Heatwave is most known for Boogie Nights, not Star of the StoryDeniece Williams got her Grammy nominations for Let’s Hear it for the Boy, not for You’re All that Matters.  These artists existed before the MTV or BET countdowns and probably wouldn’t have been included if they had.   Their music was played because of the emotion it conveyed, the classic sound it delivered and because a DJ took the time to listen to the whole album.  A lot of this music has been forgotten except for the occasional sample used by a Kanye West or 9th Wonder, it’s a shame really. These love songs expressed a vulnerability and compassion lost in current slow jams.  Today’s artists would benefit from a session of the Quiet Storm in the early 80’s or Lindsey’s later show, Melivin’s Melodies.  Maybe then they would understand that being hopelessly in love is OK, and so wonderful that those emotions deserve to be captured in a nice slow song.  Melvin got that, and spent most of his life conveying feelings of love over DC’s airwaves.

I would like to think many of these songs were recorded because of Melvin, because artists found they had a consistent place to share this kind of music.  Just imagine what could happen in today’s musical landscape if artists could find stations dedicated to playing love songs as easily as they do stations hungry for divisive and misogynistic lyrics; imagine how that could change the complexion of our society.

This dedication compilation begins and ends with the theme songs from Lindsey’s two slow jam radio shows, just like the title of this Mix. Please enjoy Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies.

Download the 192 kbps version (105 MB) here!

19 Responses to “Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies”

  1. MJWGaddy Says:

    You Rock!

  2. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you so much. I’m so happy to see so many people digging this mix. There’s nothing like good Quiet Storm classics.

  3. Notorious JKG Says:

    Its funny I couldn’t remember Melvin’s face until I came across you sight. Now all these memories of working with him at BET are coming back to me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  4. Ree Says:

    I have enjoyed listening to this. Brings back memories.

  5. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you so much for listening and commenting. I’m working on a dedication for Kevin James. I’m excited about that one too.

  6. Shilohsmama Says:

    This was Absolutely. Beautiful. Thank you for this warm and heartfelt tribute!

  7. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you so much for your support. I’m so happy you enjoyed Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies. It’s one of the most popular mixes on the site. Melvin is gone but never forgotten. If you enjoyed that, you should also check out the Kevin James dedication as well as the Sounds Like Washington mixes; they’re all in the Slow Jams Section. Love!

  8. Dan Murray Says:

    I’m so glad I finally found this site. Melvin Lindsey was such pioneer. He exposed the National Capital Region to so much wonderful music. I can still picture driving in my Datsun 280ZX “T Top” listening to the Quiet Storm. All these years later, I still miss Melvin. Thanks for remembering and posting.

  9. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you Dan for listening. I have so much love for the DJ’s like Melvin who helped to mold my own musical tastes. Welcome to the DJ BeTray Fam! Be sure to register so you’ll know when new mixes are posted and please tell a friend. If you liked this mix, you should spend some time in the slow jam section http://blog.djbetray.com/?cat=67. Check out the Sounds Like Washington series and the Kevin James dedication mix. Love!

  10. BlackSki Says:

    Thank you DJBe Tray for this wonderful tribute to the Father of the Quiet Storm. I was an avid listener to the “Storm” and Melvin. I often tell others that I grew up with the “Storm” and Melvin. His progrman guided me thru my adolescence. Because of Melvin, I’m still smooth today..LOL. The ‘Storm” helped me meet, greet and keep alot of girls in the 80’s. When I went in to the Marines in 1981 and left the DMV area, I often had friends send me cassette tapes of the storm but I requested they include the voice of Melvin. The music was great but Melvin’s voice and words was the “The Quiet Strom”
    I have attempted to recreate my own Quiet Storm for my IPod down through the years but you have done a great job. Do you remember “Can’t Let Go” by Parris….Quiet Storm Classic….It’s on my Ipod….DJBeTray…..Keep it going and alive.

  11. DJBeTray Says:

    Hello BlackSki! Thank you so much for the love. I’m so happy you are enjoying this mix. Be sure to check out the Slow Jam section of the site – I’m sure you’ll find other mixes to enjoy as well. And “Can’t Let Go” by Parris is one of my favorites of all time. I actually have it on 33. I’ll have to put that on a mix for you. Be sure to register and tell a friend about DJBeTray.com. Love!

  12. DCMB Says:

    You knocked this out of the ballpark!! As a native of D.C. I grew up listening to WHUR and Q Storm. Alot of these songs were played while I was in high school. Melvin Lindsey inspired me ( as a trumpet player ) to always listen to the whole album. There was always hidden gems you normally would’nt hear unless you listened to his show. Melvin was and is an insperation of LOVE and BEAUTIFUL music that made sence and was a joy to listen to. We need to get back to this. Thank You for the memories.

  13. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you DCMB and I hope that you’ll enjoy Vol 2 as well http://blog.djbetray.com/?p=1684. New music is coming soon! Thank you for your support. Love!

  14. BlackSki Says:

    DJ, I just added another QStorm favorite to my IPOD, do you remember “Take Me Now by David Peaston…….. A Melvin Lindsey Favorite….. Those from the DMV will remember that on

  15. Vince Ridley Says:

    I am truly enjoying your mixes…my memories have gone all the way back when I use to sneek in the basement and fall asleep listening to the quiet storm with my fingers on the record button.LOL Thanks Brother…Can you tell me how can I download these to my PC to put on my Ipod?

  16. DJBeTray Says:

    Hello and thank you for listening! It’s actually sister not brother, but no worries… I get that all the time. If you are having problems downloading, please post a message under the mix and my administrator will hook you up. Some mixes may need to be re-uploaded. Thanks again for listening.

  17. Melvin is going to be missed by everyone that station is great I love it but I say he is still here in spirit just don’t stop continue on we love it.

  18. DJBeTray Says:

    So true. Thank you so much for your support. A new mix is coming soon!

  19. Deneen Says:

    I enjoyed listening to this mix. I have been listening to the Quiet Storm since my teenage years. There has never been another show like it. I have also done a tribute to Melvin and the Quiet Storm and feel free to check out my Rare Gems Collection at http://www.raregemscollection.blogspot.com

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