Tom Cole

Tom Cole is an editor in NPR's Arts Information Unit. He develops, edits, produces, and reports on stories about art, culture, and music for NPR's news magazines Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered. Cole has held these responsibilities since February 1990.

Prior to his work with the Arts and Information Unit, Cole worked for three and a half years as an associate producer for NPR's daily classical music program Performance Today, and also for Morning Edition, where he coordinated and edited news reports and produced music programming.

From April 1979 to July 1986, Cole worked for NPR member station WAMU-FM in Washington, DC. He was the production manager for the daily operation of studios, and also served as a reporter, writing and producing music features that were broadcast locally and nationally. In addition, from October 1985 to November 1986, Cole worked for Voice of America as a producer for VOA Europe.

Since 1977, Cole has been the host and producer of a weekly three-hour program of music and interviews broadcast on public radio station WPFW-FM in Washington.

Over the course of his career, Cole has produced or collaborated on a number of public radio projects. He co-edited the Peabody Award-winning NPR documentary, "I Must Keep Fightin' : The Art of Paul Robeson." He was also an advisor, contributor, and co-editor of the Peabody Award-winning " series, The NPR 100, the top 100 songs of the 20th century.

A native of Washington, D.C., Cole has studied classical guitar at The American University and privately. He also studied comparative literature at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

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3:22pm

Wed February 13, 2013
The Record

Saving The Sounds Of America

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

A 16-inch lacquer disc, a format used in the 1930s, from the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the lacquer, the part of the disc where the sound was etched, has been lost to decay.
Abby Brack Library of Congress

We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.

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6:59am

Sun July 22, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Janet Feder: Tiny Desk Concert

Emily Bogle NPR

Janet Feder came to NPR with an infant guitar, the curiosity of a child and a wild imagination. The guitar was just a couple of months old — hand made for her by Los Angeles-based guitarist and teacher Miroslav Tadic. It's a nylon-string baritone electric! Its player is diminutive — barely taking up any space behind Bob Boilen's desk. Yet, if you look closely, you'll see the products of her immense curiosity and imagination. A small split ring (like the kind you put your keys on) holds a metal bead in place on the top E string near the sound hole.

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4:58am

Sun July 22, 2012
Music Interviews

Janet Feder: An Avant-Garde Artist Takes A Real Risk

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 9:46 am

Janet Feder built a career on unusual instrumental guitar playing. Her new album, Songs With Words, will feature her singing for the first time.
Courtesy of the artist

Janet Feder does things to her guitar.

"If I play the second string with nothing on it, it sounds like this," Feder says, plucking out a note. "Just a pure pitch."

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8:02am

Sat April 21, 2012
The Record

Eulogy For A Record Store

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:01 am

The Melody Records storefront in February.
Tom Cole NPR

How do you measure the value of an experience — one that promises the thrill of new discoveries; the chance to experience, at least vicariously, foreign cultures, new ideas, unexpected emotions — and, at least for a moment, escape? What's that worth?

Probably more than words can express — whatever experience those questions might conjure for you. For me, they're prompted by the loss of an experience — of going to a record store.

Melody Records, on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., closed on March 9,2012, after 35 years in business.

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10:01pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Music

Two Takes On Christmas Music: Sweet And Sour

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 10:04 am

Bob Dorough circa 1960.
Jon Sievert Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What do you get when one of the songwriters behind a beloved children's program and a champion of challenging new music each approach Christmas songs in their own ways?

Not what you might expect.

Saxophonist, composer and MacArthur "genius" John Zorn is also a record producer who runs his own label, Tzadik — the Hebrew word for "righteous one." The top of the label's website reads:

Tzadik is dedicated to releasing the best in avant-garde and experimental music.

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