His voice broke as he thanked us for coming. Vaughn Harper
whose name is still synonymous with “The Quiet Storm” has left radio and moved on to share the wealth of his rich spirit in other ways. (And although he hasn’t hosted the Quiet Storm in years, the DJs who fill that time slot still seem like visitors to me. I just never could get used to another voice on the radio at that hour of the evening.)…But I digress!…
This radio legend fought back tears as he expressed his heartfelt thanks to the singers, musicians, his colleagues and the audience members who attended his annual celebrity toy drive. It was refreshing to find someone who cared so deeply and earnestly for our children. More and more, it seems that as the holidays approach, the conversations about how much we can get for ourselves and our loved ones, at bargain prices of course, abound! But not last Monday at the Mist Theater in Harlem. People crowded with toys in hand for children they would never meet. My long time friend and fabulous fellow artist, Pete Belasco,most known for his hit “Love Train”serenaded the the audience with his saxophone and I followed suit, with two songs from my cd “Beautiful” and “I Remember.” as well as an excerpt from my original song “Inventions” about great black inventors.
For me, it was thrilling to see the faces of people whose music and radio presence accompanied me from middle school til today. Ken Spiderweb, G. Keith Alexander and DJ Red Alert, to name a few, all came to cheer on Mr. Harper and this noble cause. Gerald Alston (of The Manhattans) crooned an abbreviated a capella rendition of “Kiss and Say Goodbye”. I opened for piano great Alex Bugnon
whose trio was made up of two of the baddest musicians on the east coast (Bernard Davis/drums & Ron Jenkins/bass). In his set, Alex included a tribute to Isaac Hayes, Michael Jackson and he delighted us with a live performance of one of his smooth jazz hits“107 degrees in the shade”. Bugnon ended with a jam session where he was joined on stage by R&B Diva Alysson “Just Call My Name” Williams and prolific songwriter/producerBarry Eastmond.
Eastmond’s production roster includes Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Freddie Jackson…I could go on. After the concert I was signing a cd for a guest when I heard my name bellowed by that familiar voice. “Wincey, come get in this picture!” shouted Vaughn Harper.
Even though I was the “new kid” on THAT block, everyone treated me like I was an old friend, or better yet, one of the family!