Remembering Melvin Lindsey – A Quiet Storm

Melvin Lindsey was an American radio and television personality in the Washington, D.C. area. He is widely known for originating the “Quiet Storm” late-night music programming format.

Lindsey began his broadcast career as an intern at Howard University radio station WHUR-FM. In 1976, he brought the “Quiet Storm” to the station’s late-night lineup, titled after a romantic hit single by tenor crooner Smokey Robinson. The show’s soulfully melodic and moody musical fare made it a phenomenal success and the ‘love song’-heavy format was quickly replicated at stations across the country that served an urban, African-American adult demographic. Lindsey’s show also gave rise to a category of music of the same name.

After a nine-year run on WHUR, Lindsey took his format to another local radio station, WKYS-FM, for five more years and later hosted Screen Scene for Black Entertainment Television (BET). He also worked for Washington, D.C. television stations WTTG-TV and WFTY-TV and for WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland.

Lindsey died in 1992 at the age of 36, but the Quiet Storm format he originated remains a popular staple in radio programming today, three decades after its inception, across the nation, especially in evening and late-night radio programs. Many artists continue to create songs targeted towards Quiet Storm stations and shows.


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