BMM Spotlight: The Voice of New York's Quiet Storm, Vaughn Harper

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Blog > Black Music Month > BMM Spotlight: The Voice of New York's Quiet Storm, Vaughn Harper

BMM Spotlight: The Voice of New York's Quiet Storm, Vaughn Harper

Photo Credit: BAT/Getty Images

Vaughn Harper was the late night voice of New York radio for 25 years, but before lending his smooth vocals to the Tristate’s airwaves he was a high school basketball star with some serious hoop dreams.

Born and raised in New York City, Harper attended Boys’ High School in Brooklyn and bodied the basketball court as one of his team’s go-to players. Unlike others who hoped to take their love for the game to the next level and didn’t succeed, the All-American b-ball player became an Orangeman and shined as a standout rebounder for Syracuse University.

According to author Mike Waters, who wrote the book, The Orangemen: Syracuse University Men’s Basketball, Harper was a three-year starter, who started in all but three games during his sophomore season. He later became the NBA’s 57th draft pick with the Detroit Pistons, but was dismissed from the team. Thus, Vaughn began to follow a new passion. 

Vaughn Harper Syracuse University

Photo Credit: Syracuse University

The velvety-voiced jock entered the radio game in 1976 when WBLS program director, the legendary Frankie Crooker, took Harper under his wing. 

The New York Times says Harper broke down the meaning of his show to Newsday in 1988, saying, “The essence of the show is the fact that it’s not a show to me. I try to present it more as a mood than a show.”

Vaughn took a brief hiatus from radio in 1993 after suffering a stroke, but returned to the airwaves in 1998.

In addition to Vaughn’s years in radio, he lent his voice to Grand Theft Auto IV before retiring his sultry sound in 2008.

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