10 Questions with ... Lenny Green
June 17, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was bit by the "Radio Bug" while attending college; initial interest was singing. Started doing college radio, hosting a contemporary jazz show only on Sunday evenings from 7p till 1a. Wanted to start radio in NYC but that was far from reality. I remained assertive and finally landed my first radio gig at a AM station in Richmond, VA at WANT. I hosted a midday shift that turned into a midday/afternoon-drive show from noon till 6p. When I left WANT after one year, I started working for a radio syndication company in NY during the week and at the same time got a weekend air shift in New Haven, CT at WNHC -- another AM station. One year later, WNHC offered me a full-time on-air shift doing mornings, then I did middays. After that, I ended up hosting WNHC's Evening love show called "Whisper Softly."
While at WNHC I became the MD/APD; I stayed there until the station went through tough times and eventually shut down; I was there for 10 years. Then I got hired part-time by an AM/FM Churban station in Bridgeport, CT, WEBE 108. While working there, a blessing and opportunity rose up granting me a chance to sit down with renown PD Vinny Brown, who was PD at 98.7 KISS in NY in 1996. He hired me as a part-time announcer with no air shift, but eventually they offered me weekends, then fill-ins, then I became host of their love show, Kissing After Dark. During this run of 16 years with KISS, I also served as MD/APD. Once KISS went off the air, I was blessed with a chance to come to WBLS and host The Quiet Storm. So far so good, and all I can say is Thank You, God.
1) Don't be modest, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud that God has showered me with his love and favor, I know that may sound corny to some, but no one has walked in my shoes. I'm proud, happy to have a chance to be doing what I love in life. Don't get me wrong; I've had a million jobs doing everything from being a bike mechanic to selling rugs, because all of us have to do whatever we can to make ends meet, but to wake up over the last 20-some years going to a radio station to touch lives and bring memorable moments in people's lives by playing music is more that a joy on so many levels. But I'm most, most proud to have good health and for my mom to still be here with me at 88 years young, and I do mean that.
2) What's your approach to your show, The Quiet Storm?
I'm fortunate to be living a part of the lifestyle of The Quiet Storm, so my approach to my show is multi-dimensional. I observe very carefully how people go through their days; all of us have good and bad ones, so I try to bring a piece of reality into my show daily. Whether that means someone having a problem on their jobs to their relationships, or someone celebrating an birthday to an anniversary, I incorporate that through my show prep; what I go through to what I see people go through and then bring resolution to the table through advice or through music.
3) You are always out in front of your fans, what are some of the questions you get from time to time and how do you answer?
My listeners are just often surprise to find out if I'm really the guy who does The Quiet Storm because, as all of us in radio know, some of our listeners don't look how they sound on the phone, and to them we don't either, LOL. Most people envision me as six-foot-tall, dark skin, and overweight ... well, that's far from reality, huh ? Other curious questions are: Am I single? Do I have children? Who's that fine woman I'm with on a date? Or where's my Mom? I'm pretty transparent with my audience, so for those who have gotten to know me, they know my answers, but if they don't, I am willing to share a few things.
4) What's your radio background and how did you get started?
I wasn't interested in radio upon going to college; my primary interest was singing and music until someone took me to the college radio station. Everything changed in my mind; at an instant, I got bit by the Radio Bug, and that started me listening to whoever was on the air in NYC or as I traveled.
5) What's your opinion on the future of radio and Urban radio?
Radio is going through an interesting but yet scary transition, but through it all terrestrial radio is still the undefeated champion, and that's where I and so many other professionals live. The future of radio will continue to transform depending on technology and listeners habits, but I believe if radio stations continue to really get to know their audience beyond research they will have great results.
6) What are some of your goals?
Some of my immediate goals are to enhance my brand on all levels, whether it's TV, acting, modeling (why not), but most importantly to bring "The Quiet Storm with Lenny Green" show into other markets.
7) What do you like to do outside of radio?
I enjoy traveling to the Caribbean or Miami, playing a few sports like paddleball, football, cross-country skiing, and just staying active but enjoying the great outdoors.
8) What do you think is unique when it comes to New York City and its listeners?
New York City is the greatest city in the world; now I maybe a little biased but I was born & raised in Brooklyn -- and that borough is a state in itself. No matter where you go, you will find someone from Brooklyn. NYC people, bottom line, keep it real. If they don't like something, you will know. We aren't filtered at all, and I love that the most.
9) What people have influenced your radio career?
Growing up in NYC, I had the honor of listening to some great radio legends, some of whom have become friends and definitely mentors, such as Vaughn Harper, Hal Jackson, Gerry Bledsoe, Fred "Bugsy" Buggs, Frankie Crocker, Johnny Allen, Gary Byrd, G. Keith Alexander, Jeff Foxx, Ken Webb and the list goes on and on.
10) Have you ever thought about syndication?
I am in syndication right now through SupeRadio, but I initially got introduced to it while working with R&B singer and friend Brian McKnight. I love it and can't wait to spread the love of the Quiet Storm in my special way throughout the country.