Posts Tagged ‘Smokey Robinson’

Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies (Vol. 2)

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“Nice and warm, a quiet storm, quiet as when flowers talk at break of dawn.”                            Quiet Storm Lyrics by Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson said after a powerful storm, it was the feeling in the air that inspired the tune that would go on to resurrect his R&B career.  The song Quiet Storm proved to be much more than a sexy slow groove.  What Robinson felt in that after-storm air we now hear on the airwaves in cities around the world.  It’s the sound of love pinned to slow tempo music that we call slow jams.  Melvin Lindsey is the father of the format dedicated to this sound and the creator of the first Quiet Storm radio show.  This is the second mix that I’ve complied in honor of his work.  In this mix you’ll hear some Quiet Storm classics and Lindsey favorites from Labelle to Sylvester.

 Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies continues to be the most popular mix downloaded here at DJ BeTray.com.  I’m so happy that so many Quiet Storm fans have found their way to my site.  Now I’m hoping that you’ll be just as happy with the 2nd volume showcasing the unique blend of slow jams Lindsey created and perfected.  Close your eyes and imagine the sounds of 96.3 WHUR pouring out of the radio and flowing through the DC night air in the 80’s.  Hear the sweet and comforting voice of Lindsey making it all alright with the promise of playing another slow jam you’ll love.  Enjoy & Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (110 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!

Top 5 R&B Male Singers

Marvin Gaye

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Marvin Gaye’s silky voice, groundbreaking lyrics, compositions and fight for artistic control have inspired an entire generation of musicians.  In my opinion, Marvin’s influence birthed neo-soul long before the genre or even some of its artists existed.  Marvin walked the line between sex and political relevance before we knew there was a line to be walked; and he did so as a man.  He set the stage; he showed way.

Luther Vandross

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My favorite thing about Luther Vandross was his ability to take an old song and make it completely his own.  His vocal styling, arrangements and attention to detail were always in a class by itself.  When I really began paying attention to music as a teen, Luther is who I played over and over again.  In R&B music he is to me what The Godfather is to film, the standard.

 

Eddie Kendricks

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As founding member and original lead singer of The TemptationsEddie Kendricks‘ falsetto changed the sound of American music.  As a solo artist, he created some of the most sampled music of today.  On the day of Michael Jackson‘s death, in an interview Smokey Robinson listed Kendricks right behind Marvin Gaye as an example of another great artists gone too soon.

Will Downing

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Will Downing’s sexy low octaves can tickle a song or grab it tightly; wherever he decides to take you, you know it’s going to be good.  From jazz standards to R&B classics, Will is one of the most underrated talents in music.

Alexander O’Neal

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R&B needs Alexander O’Neal back.  His rough and rugged vocals cut through the refinement of male R&B singers in the 80’s.  He was a muse for producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; it showed in every song they produced for him.  Alex’s vocal interpretation of their lyrics is one of a kind and his adlibs are flawless.