Posts Tagged ‘Roy Ayers’

Sounds Like Washington Vol. 3

Night-time-at-the-tidal-basin-in-Washington-DC-during-the-Cherry-Blossom-Festival-2

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It’s been a long time DJ BeTray Fam!!!  I’ve missed mixing for you, but you know how it goes… sometimes life can take us away from what we love to do so we can focus on what we need to do.  But I’m back!  I thought it best I get back in the swing of things by paying homage to the music of my city.  This Sounds Like Washington Vol. 3 is full of DC classics.  While the music spans from the 70’s to the 2000’s the theme of this mix is consistent.  There is a longing for love and unfulfilled companionship expressed in each of these tunes.  As with all of the Sounds Like Washington mixes, most of the music here is inspired by the incomparable sound of WHUR FM.  For many of you listening from outside the Washington area, some of this music will be new to you because it’s not played anywhere else.  As always thank you for your support.  While it’s almost been a year since my last mix, you all have kept the traffic and good feelings flowing on this site.  Thank you, thank you and as always… Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (108 MB) here!

BELIEVE – “Be” Mixtape Vol. 4

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I’m so proud to present Believe, the 4th installment in my signature “Be” Mix Series.  This mixtape explores various concepts of believing.  It also examines the idea of true love sustaining despite the baggage from past relationships.

I’d like to give a special shout-out and thank you to up and coming Neo-soul singer, Tracy Cruz; she blessed me with her forthcoming single Happy.  This mix features a number of new artists who I hope you’ll explore including Jose` James, KING, and my home girl Carolyn Malachi.  She opens this mix with her song Organic Soul.  There’s also some classic Soul on this one including music from Roy Ayers, the Pointer Sisters and Deniece Williams.  My friends, family and their hilarious voicemails have once again provided my interludes.

The “Be” Mixes are like my babies, and I take months carefully selecting each song.  My goal with these mixes is to be cutting edge while challenging you with new music and experimental artists who push and break boundaries. Be sure to also check out Betrayed, Between, and Behave as well.  Please stream or download all of my mixes and tell a friend about DJBeTray.com.

I hope you enjoy Believe, remember to comment  and tell me what you think.

And on a side note – it is official, Erykah Badu is the only artist featured on all of the “Be” Mixes.  Nina Simone follows her with appearances on 3 of the 4 mixes including this one.  Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (107 MB) here!

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!

Sounds Like Washington Vol. 2

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I’m so excited to present Sounds Like Washington Vol. 2 to you.  Ten years ago I compiled the first Sounds Like Washington to keep me company when I lived far away from D.C. and missed listening to the exclusive sounds of this City.  After returning home, I was inspired to create Volume 2.  Like with Volume 1, some of these songs are regularly played on D.C.’s adult contemporary radio stations, others should be.  Please enjoy these soothing sounds that go best with the Washington skyline in the distance — but will make you feel good wherever you are.

Download the 192 kbps version (108 MB) here!