What The Game’s Been Missing: The Quiet Storm


It’s been a long day. You got to work early and stayed late slaving over a presentation for your client,
who promptly let you know that it wasn’t “up to snuff.” The man you share cubicle space with smells like
garlic-buttered garbage and decided against turning on the AC, leaving you marinate in his funk for the
rest of your 10-hour day. Traffic traps you on the highway for another hour after work, and just before
pulling into your subdivision a soccer mom in a Tahoe cuts you off, causing you to miss your light. It
doesn’t take Miss Cleo to see that a stiff drink is in your near future.
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So you get home, and your boo lays out a delicious meal for you after hearing about your day. Thinking
you can set the mood with some music, you load your iPod onto the speakers, but all your music
was wiped when you plugged it into your computer at work. Your cable and internet connection is on
the fritz, so that means no Pandora. With nothing to listen to — you sold your Time-Life Body & Soul collection on ebay a long time ago — your last resort is radio. It’s 9 pm so you figure there has to be something good on.

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You set the dial to the local urban station…

…and Lil’ Young Yung comes blaring through the speakers.

Just when you thought your day couldn’t get any worse, it did. Because your radio station doesn’t
believe in dynamic programming, you are stuck listening to the sexual exploits of Lil’ Young Yung and his
ilk instead of soulful crooning to soothe your weary spirit.

What you need is the Quiet Storm.

You remember the Quiet Storm, don’t you? The radio format created by radio personality Melvin Lindsey in 1976 in Washington, DC a year after Smokey Robinson released his album and song
of the same name. The whistling theme song served as a clear indicator that it would be on
and popping for the evening. A velvet-voiced host would take time to carefully select slow jams and
seductively guide your late-night get right. With the Quiet Storm in the background
all you needed to do was pop open a bottle of red and lay out on the shag rug with your boo, because
it was guaranteed to go down.

The Quiet Storm served a couple of purposes, and its absence has created a black hole for music that
desperately needs to be filled. First of all, the Quiet Storm host acts as a sort of love doctor for the
masses, and the radio show offers the appropriate venue for listeners to send or mend their love. Need
to apologize for forgetting your wedding anniversary? Send it to the Quiet Storm, they’ll hook you up. Is your honey in jail and needs a shout out to let him know that you are down for him until he returns
home? The Quiet Storm has you covered. Now people resort to sending subliminal status updates on
Facebook and Twitter when what they really need is for their late-night radio host to help massage their
love messages.

Second of all, the Quiet Storm gives you a break — who wants the ruckus of a lot of the high-energy music that’s
out today anyway? The thoughtfulness with which the Quiet Storm host chooses music reflects a deep love for the
craft that you just don’t get when DJs corporations pre-program songs and let the machine run. Having intention and
purpose are traits that are too often overlooked and under-cultivated in today’s
society. Taking time to reflect and meditate on life — and love — is what makes soul music soulful, and
couldn’t be more needed in our current landscape.

Here’s the thing: if the radio stations that played rap and R&B invested resources into late-night
programming that touches people’s hearts, the world would be far better off. The divorce rate would go
jump 50% to 5%, birds would chirp sweeter, and the price of gas would go down. Why? Because a sexy-voiced spirit guide on the radio would lay love out plain, and help you communicate that to your lover, your
family, and your world. Let’s put romance — and good music period — back on the radio.

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