Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin

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Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin is a mixtape honoring the style of Kevin “Slow Jammin” James, a pioneer of slow jam radio shows.  If you don’t know James’ style, you’ve been missing out on a DJ who loves the classics yet has a gift for recognizing a classic in the making.  Delivered between his amazing collection of rare slow jams is one of the warmest yet coolest voices in radio; his mellow tone whispers it’s time to turndown the lights and vibe.

This legendary radio personality influenced my musical taste and also was the DJ I most imitated when doing my radio show in college.  Even this website has a bit of James in it.  The information I share about the artists and the music posted here is a direct reflection of James’ approach to teaching a little something about the music and artists he features.  After a set of his music, I always look forward to hearing what he has to say.  He has a deep respect for R&B and because he’s been such a dedicated student of the format, he is a wonderful teacher.

Kevin James, a Pennsylvania native, came to WKYS FM in Washington, DC in the mid 70’s and stayed for nearly 15 years hosting the nightly Slow Jam Show.  I had the privilege of growing up with Kevin on my radio.  Just before I graduated from high school, James headed west to L.A.’s 92.3 the Beat.  Between James leaving and the death of Quiet Storm creator, Melvin Lindsey a kind of silence fell over Washington’s airwaves as stations scrambled to find their footing.

Kevin James went on to be a major influence in California too.  Snoop Dogg featured Kevin’s voice on two of his albums and thanked him for his music in the liner notes.  I understand the feeling; Kevin not only plays great music but also connects with his listeners.  He says he’s not a DJ, but is a friend who enjoys sharing music.  Unlike many R&B DJ’s who want to stay in a groove, Kevin has no problem switching it up; he even takes listener requests, which is very rare for an urban Slow Jam Show.  Anyone who’s called into Kevin’s shows knows he loves to talk with his listeners as much as he loves playing them music.

Kevin returned to DC’s airwaves when he hosted the Weekend Edition of The Quiet Storm on WHUR, the original home of the Quiet Storm Show.  He actually did the broadcasts from his house in California, I learned that after calling in one night and talking with him about some music I was searching for.  I told him how much his style and work meant to me during that conversation.  I also told him about how happy I was to hear him back on our airwaves.  For Washingtonians, hearing Kevin on the weekends was a treat, like a walk down memory lane.  He’s a part of that rare club of radio personalities who play what they feel, not what they are programmed to play; as listeners and lovers of music, we hear the difference.

Kevin’s style is for the true R&B connoisseur; please enjoy Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin.

 

Download the 192 kbps version (108.7 MB) here!

5 Responses to “Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin”

  1. R Dub! Says:

    What a great piece! Very well written, and all true.

    You can tell how horrible the state of radio is today, when you see that Kevin is not on the air in DC. Why wouldn’t someone take this opportunity to snatch him up as soon as he was let go from HUR??? It’s because radio stations and their companies (most of them) simply don’t care anymore. And who loses? The listeners.

    Long-live KSJJ. I am blessed to know him and grow up listening to him.

  2. DJBeTray Says:

    R Dub… don’t EVEN get me started on the state of Urban American radio *as I pull out my soapbox.* Radio is part of the reason I started this website. I wanted to share a little music, put some unknown artists out there and get us to open our minds to an experience outside of the standard FM radio playlist.

    The radio industry is trying to bottle something that is fluid and organic and this misdirected approach is what will lead to the death of radio, my once most beloved source of inspiration. I say, leave radio programming and music formatting to the experts (deejays and music lovers) and not the number crunching executives.

    Part of the problem is also who’s getting hired to be on the mic. These radio personalities today are so busy brushing up on their slang and split verbs that they haven’t attempted to learn music history or even closely examine the artists they’re playing. The listeners are losing out, and it’s a shame that they are isolated to this shallow pool of uninspired music.

    What’s most ironic about it all is that the most popular producers, musicians and singers in the industry aren’t even listening to the stations that play their music; they’re too busy expanding to be that limited. They’re checking for the new artists, who don’t get airplay, for what’s next and they’re digging in the crates for the best sample that no one has heard.

    When it comes to Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop and even Rock – the best isn’t getting played and DJ’s who know better aren’t given the latitude to do better. If music really is a reflection of the people, who are we right now? And what will our next generation become? The radio industry has decided, there’s no room for knowledgeable, educated DJ’s in commercial radio – no room for Donnie Simpson, no room for Kevin James and the people say, “OK.” *stepping off soapbox.* Thanks R Dub for the comment and long live the creativity and passion of Kevin James and the like!

  3. DJBeTray Says:

    Thank you to Kevin “Slow Jammin” James for this wonderful comment on Facebook, “I am humbled and thankful for your kind words and honorary mix. I am so thrilled that I had an influence in your direction in the music business. Thanks.”

  4. bridgette Says:

    Miss u long time fan miss everything bout you hope u ok love u always

  5. bridgette Says:

    Miss u long time fan miss everything bout you hope u ok love u always number one fan barkays unforgettably dream play that for me tp u

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