Posts Tagged ‘Slow Jams’

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!

Sounds Like Washington Vol. 1

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I hope this smooth soothing compilation will inspire and calm your spirit just as it has mine time and time again.  This sexy slow tempo compilation is my favorite.  In 2001, I compiled “Sounds Like Washington Vol. 1”.  After living on the other side of the country and away from Washington, DC radio, I missed the music that was unique to this great City.  The title “Sounds Like Washington,” is taken from the WHUR radio catch phrase, which I love because it’s so true; its music does sound like Washington and so much of it is literally played nowhere else.  So yes, most of the songs on this compilation are WHUR classics; some just feel like DC to me.  Many of my friends have enjoyed this CD for years… I hope you will too.

Download the 192 kbps version (102 MB) here!

While We Were Swinging

Harlem Love by Nicole Folkes

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While we were swinging to new jack swing in the late 80’s and early 90’s, some R&B slow jams released at the time were getting very little love.  As Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley’s productions dominated the R&B Top 10; artists like Jamm, Eric Gable Meli’sa Morgan, Liz Hogue, Deon Estus,  and Alyson Williams struggled to hold their billboard spots.  Please enjoy this compilation of songs from that period.  I know many of you have been searching for some of these tunes for years.

 

Download the 320kbps/HQ version (183 MB) here!