Mitch Malone, the Voice of Richmond’s Quiet Storm
By Sheilah Belle
Petersburg, VA – On Saturday, November 30, 2013, nearly 2,000 family members, friends, Radio One Richmond colleagues and notable figures came together for a homegoing celebration for Mr. James David Mitchell, affectionally known as “Mitch Malone,” the voice of Richmond’s Quiet Storm and the Pride of Petersburg where he also attended and graduated from Virginia State University.
The public service was held at the renowned Gillfield Baptist Church, 209 Perry Street, Petersburg, VA at 2:00 in the afternoon.
The service was attended by several notable figures including Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance, Petersburg Councilman Howard Myers, Sheriff Vanessa R. Crawford, Chief of Police John Dickson, Daphanie Reed, Councilman Ray Coleman, and Councilwoman Treska Wilson-Smith just to name a few.
Also in attendance were many of Mitch Malone’s friends and colleagues from his years in radio including Kirby Carmichael, Chocolate Chip, the former Manager of Magic 99/Power 92 Larry Jones, Burt Robinson aka The Captain, Kevin Koufax (First program director of KISS), Eric Lee, Rob Dungee, Lorenzo “Ice Tee” Thomas, A-Plus, Sheilah Belle a.k.a. The Belle, Darren “King Tutt”, Jeff Anderson, Reggie B., Clovia Lawrence, KJ, Jay Carneal, Antoinette Essa, B Sounds, J.R. Davis, Calvin King, Jack Gravely, Ervin Clark, Ed Stephens, Karen Hicks, Lonnie B, DJ Drake, Melody Master, Sir R.J., Big Natt, El Bravador, Charles Taylor, Carolyn Martin, Cavell Phillips, Wanda Woods, Tiffany Minor, Jennifer Williamson, Sabrina Squire and DJ Footes.
The service followed a week of mourning by many who heard about Malone’s unexpected passing on last Monday due to natural causes.
The service started promptly at 2:00p.m., with Mr. Bert Boisseau leading the choir in song. Following was the processional of the family, another song of praise, followed by the reading of a passage from the Old and New Testament by Mr. Ernest Shaw and Ms. Mikki Spencer.
Giving Words of Tribute was the Operations Director of Radio One Richmond Mr. Jeff Anderson, who called himself the last coach for Mitch. He said, “How do you coach a Michael Jordon?,” as he compared Malone’s vocal ability on the radio and his professionalism to one of the greats. He then became a bit emotional as he read one of the last e-mail’s Mitch sent him after receiving an air check review from Anderson. He talked about how Mitch was a true professional, how he was never in a bad mood and how he grew and learned to adapt in an ever evolving industry. “It wasn’t just reel to reel, tape decks and CD players, but it was now doingFacebook, Twiiter and he simply grew with the business,” said Anderson. His comments were met with applause.
As Anderson slowly left the podium, a moving audio tribute, produced by Lonnie B, was played over the church sound system. It was the voice of Mitch, speaking in his baritone voice with everyone listening intentlyto every word. He was smooth, captivating and full of passion for a job he loved. The tribute was followed by applause along with a “job well done” for Lonnie B., who was also moved as he looked humbly down with tears streaming down his cheeks.
From left to right: Kirby Carmichael, Linda Forem and Jeff Anderson
Following Anderson was Radio One Richmond, General Manger Linda Forem, who read an article about Mitch from a 2008 issue of the Richmond Urban Views Magazine that was published on his birthday July 23, 2008. For many it included much information they never new before about Malone and for others, it was another reminder of just how great of a person he was. When Forem mentioned that he was a Cowboys Fan, she had to pause for a few minutes as many applauded and cheered as they also recognized Mitch as a huge Cowboys Fan.
Tributes were also given by Shalandis Wheeler-Smith and the legendary Kirby Carmichael who received a standing ovation as he made his way to the podium.
In attendance at the funeral Lorenzo “Ice Tea” Thomas, Karen Hicks and Eric Lee and
Danny DJ Foot Smith, Karen Hicks and Big Nat
“The Funeral Message” was given by Malone’s pastor, Pastor George W. C. Lyons, Jr., who was simply superb. He was encouraging, passionate and obviously had a personal relationship with Malone as he pulled from memories after memories about Malone doing things at the church from helping to run the sound board to simply pitching in wherever.
Closing out the service was Ms. Sheila Savoy, accompanied by the church choir and Mr. Bert Boisseau singing “God Is.”
This was truly a blessed homegoing and a day that will go down in history as a corner of the world came together to say Good-Bye to one of the greatest voices ever.
About Mitch Malone
James David Mitchell (Mitch Malone) passed away at 5:00AM Monday (November 25, 2013) morning of natural causes. Mitch Malone was the noted host of KISS-FM’s “Quiet Storm” radio show since 2005. He has a very long and continuous broadcast career in Richmond, Virginia.
The Quiet Storm, hosted by Mitch Malone is Richmond’s Number One rated radio show and has been #1 for many years. Vice-President and General Manager Linda Forem comments, “Mitch was the calm in the storm. He has without a doubt one of the best most soothing voices to ever be on Richmond radio or television. I recall during the horrible storms over the years, when thousands of people had lost their electricity and were only able to stay connected via the radio, listening to Mitch truly soothed us. I got letters from listeners telling me that without Mitch, they would have been frightened. He was also a very proud Alumni of Virginia State University, where his daughter graduated as well. We’re in complete shock here, and trying to digest this terrible circumstance.”
His official station biography describes him as follows:
“Mitch Malone, host of the 804’s No.1 night time radio show, the “Quiet Storm” was a veteran in the radio industry, having worked in several markets, including Greensboro, Baltimore, Norfolk, and Raleigh-Durham, as well as serving his alma mater, Virginia State University as Music and Sports Director at their campus station WVST. Mitch was also the “Voice of Trojan Football and Basketball” for several years during which time he received the CIAA Sportscaster of the Year Award on three occasions. He was also the original voice of the Richmond-area’s first Urban-oriented radio station, Magic 99 FM.
A Petersburg native and VSU alum, Mitch was active in his community and was a member of the Gillfield Baptist Church family. He frequently spoke to youth groups in schools and at community events encouraging our young people to strive to be all they can be and to work harder for a better future. Mitch truly appreciates his listening audience which seems to grow bigger with each passing year. For a silky smooth musical experience join Mitch Malone on KISS FM’s “Quiet Storm.”
In addition, his final post on his Facebook from last Sunday expressed his true feelings for his life, his faith, his community, his family and his Radio One Family.See Below: Posted by Mitch Malone Sunday afternoon, 11/24/13:
As we move closer to that special day set aside for Thanksgiving, Dr. George W. C. Lyons, Jr., my Pastor at Gillfield Baptist Church reminded us all today that we should be “Thankful” each and every day for each and every blessing. As we witness the many challenges and tragic events that come about week to week, we realize there is so much to be Thankful for because the Lord has blessed us in so many, many ways.
I would simply like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and I pray that you have a blessed holiday well spent with family and friends. I’d also like to say THANK YOU to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has blessed me with great parents, a small, but loving family, a lonnnnnng and exciting career where I have met so many wonderful people who have helped or supported me in so many, many ways.
I also say THANK YOU to my KISS listening audience, which happens to be the LARGEST in V-A! But like John Legend, I don’t wanna brag. I’m humbled by that because as a youngster growing up in Petersburg, I had a dream, and only by the grace and mercy of God have I been able to live that dream in a major way. As Dr. King once said “Longevity has it’s place”, and because of your love and support over all these years, I have enjoyed that longevity in an industry that rapidly changes.
I’m blessed to enjoy the same friends, frequent the same places, and have such a great mutual respect with those in my circle. I THANK YOU for the love, for the continued support, and for taking me from the “Night Park” to the top of the Radio Charts. Again, THANK YOU. I would like to re-post this pic of Mr. Ernest Shaw, who opened the doors for young Black dreamers like myself, THANK YOU “Mr. Clue”. Happy Thanksgiving everyone……..especially to my Radio-One Family!!!
Mitch leaves behind his daughter, Bretne Bannister, three brothers, Larry Mallory, Michael McKay and Rickey McKay all of Petersburg, VA, Charles McKay of Texas and a host of nieces, nephews and cousin. Also his devoted friends, Donald Jefferson Roger Williams, former wife, Teresa Wheeler Mitchell and his fiancé’ Karen Coleman of Petersburg, VA.