Marvell Churon Reed, 52, a driving force behind KDEE radio from Sacramento who was remembered as a soft-spoken and determined leader in Sacramento, died suddenly on December 1. His family asked to keep the cause of death private, but confirmed it was not related to COVID-19.
Reed’s funeral will be on Tuesday at Northgate Christian Fellowship at 2201 Lake Herman Rd. In Benicia. The tour begins at 10 a.m. and the service will begin at 11 a.m. Masks are mandatory for everyone attending the service.
Reed was born in San Francisco on February 7, 1969, to Linda Rosalia Alayon and Jesse Reed. Both his parents predeceased him. He received his formal education in San Francisco. He attended Pelton Middle School, Galileo High School, and City College in San Francisco.
Reed’s musical genius began long before he joined KDEE. He has always had a passion for listening, reviewing, creating, producing and mixing music. He had a heart for music.
He was affectionately known as “Laid”, “Mr. Ugly” or “Kool-Aid” because he was told his beats had more flavor than the Kool-Aid drink. His entrepreneurial efforts led him to co-create a DJ company, which grew into his own music production company and record label called LaidBlack Productions.
Kevin Davis, known as “Chill Black”, was Reed’s friend and the co-founder of LaidBlack Productions. Originally, they met at a party Davis was hosting when Reed asked him to attend a DJ fight. They had a good laugh and quickly became close friends.
âWe got together quickly and started a DJ company called Reality Productions where we had tons of house nights and clubs around the neighborhood,â Davis said. âAfter having been partying for years, we wanted to start producing our own music, so we teamed up with Shelly Tatum and Kim Mitchell to start our journey of learning to build music. “
This experience led them to learn more about the music industry and they eventually formed LaidBlack Productions. The first group they produced was UDI, made up of Quinton “Big Quint” Morris and Derrick “Digg” Reed, Marvell Reed’s younger brother.
Thanks to LaidBlack Productions, the friends have worked with many Bay Area artists, such as Too $ hort, Mac Dre, B-Legit, Mac Mall, RBL Posse, Black C, Yukmouth, Keak Da Sneak, Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, Cougnut, Conscious Filles, Rappin ‘4-Tay, JT Da Bigga Figga, San Quinn, Messy Marv, Guce, Cold World Hustlers, Big Mack, Herm Lewis, Pho Balo and Charlie Manhattan.
Reed met his wife, Apryle, in 2001 while he was having his recording session while she was singing. The two started dating, Reed proposed to Providence Baptist Church and they tied the knot on December 22, 2009.
A man of God, Reed was baptized at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco; his family would later attend All Hallows Catholic Church. Reed would eventually join Providence Baptist Church in San Francisco where he was baptized by the late Calvin Jones Jr.
He dedicated his passion for music to the church. Frequently, Reed volunteered his time helping the church with recordings and sound production. He became the man of choice for the musical equipment and audio needs of the church. Reed often stayed late after rehearsals to adjust audio levels or test out musical instruments. He will eventually be hired as the church’s audio and media coordinator.
Under Reed’s leadership, the church expanded its audience by purchasing screens, television monitors, and video cameras. The sound system has been updated and produced better overall output for live events.
KDEE Radio in Sacramento
Within the Sacramento community, he has been recognized as the beloved program director and general manager of KDEE 97.5 FM.
Reed took charge of the radio station in 2008, succeeding the late Aubry Stone. He helped develop the station’s latest sound and algorithm with an emphasis on community engagement, accompanied by great music. His vision was for KDEE to become the black voice of Sacramento.
It brought on-air personalities who discussed and educated the community on important issues such as real estate, financial literacy, community news and the culture of Black Sacramento.
Reed loved most movies and TV shows, but his favorites were Good Times, The Wire, BMF, and any show in the Power franchise. His wife would often tease him by suggesting that he would like to watch any “hood” show or movie.
Before the pandemic, he often spent all day at the movies with his family, ordering hot dogs, popcorn, peanut M & Ms, and a Diet Pepsi. He kept abreast of the latest electronic gadgets. He was always looking to learn something new, and he often learned new software and equipment by watching YouTube videos.
He is survived by his wife Apryle. He leaves behind five children to cherish his memory: Anthony “Tony” Baker, II (Angelia), Marvelle “Junior” Reed, Jr., Johnel Reed, Breyana Reed and Nia Greer. He will be remembered by his mother-in-law, Ella “Dotty” Reed. He was the big brother of seven siblings: Cassandra Reed of San Francisco, La Geachia Johnson of Antioch, Jessica Williams (LeRoy) of Cypress, James Johnson of Antioch, Ja Porsha Reed of San Francisco, Lugh Markland of San Francisco and Kevin Mitchell, Jr. (half-brother) of San Diego. He will be missed by his two grandchildren: Anthony Baker, III and Ava Baker. His two godchildren, Laniah Williams (niece) and Laiyah Williams (niece), along with a host of other nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins ââand friends will cherish his memory.
Messages of condolence can be sent to Dan Scales at Alta Vista Funeral Home located at 107 West Eighth Street in Pittsburg to the attention of Marvell Reed.
This story was originally published December 20, 2021 5:00 a.m.