Phil Harrell

Phil Harrell is a producer with Morning Edition, NPR's award-winning newsmagazine. He has been at NPR since 1999.

At NPR, Harrell has worked on a variety of shows and produced a little bit of everything—from politics to pop music. Most memorably, he worked through the nights after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and after the death of President Ronald Reagan, producing mini-documentaries about each story for Weekend Edition.

Harrell got his start in radio as a rock 'n' roll DJ/program director at progressive WRNR in Annapolis, MD. He later co-created the Bob Edwards Show for XM and Bob Edwards Weekend for PRI.

Harrell has won numerous awards for his excellence in production. In 2006 and 2011, he led the teams that claimed the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award. In addition, he won the Gabriel Award in both 2012 and 2014 with hosts Guy Raz and Arun Rath.

A native of Maryland, Harrell is a graduate of the University of Maryland-College Park.

Highlights from Phil Harrell:

Lowlights from Phil Harrell:

  • He almost killed Clint Eastwood by losing his balance and collapsing into him
  • He almost capsized a kayak paddled by NPR's Brian Naylor
  • He almost lost a recording that represented an entire day's worth of reporting in South Dakota

When the Rolling Stones released "Gimme Shelter" in 1969, everyone recognized Mick Jagger. But at the time, no one knew who that voice – you know the one – belonged to.

Opera Philadelphia has, of course, spent the last year unable to stage live works in theaters. In response, they started creating original works written for the camera, to be shared and viewed online as part of an ongoing effort to bring a wider range of voices into the repertory.

Will Liverman is a young baritone and a new, exciting voice in the opera world. He is also on something of a mission.

In school, the artist was rarely introduced to Black composers. It was a cumulative interest, patched together by YouTube clips and introductions from colleagues. Now, he wants to expose listeners to music that he feels doesn't get programmed enough in concert halls or receive enough airplay on classical radio stations.

Last year was supposed to be a big one for Foo Fighters – it was the band's 25th anniversary, with a huge tour planned and a new album to play through. But when the pandemic shut everything down, the group decided to delay the album's release and wait it out. For almost a year, the record just sat on a shelf.

"Yeah, that's not what music's for," says Dave Grohl, laughing.

At a time when the country seems more and more divided, it can be a lot to ask of a person to "love thy neighbor," even when they don't necessarily love you back. It takes an aggressive kind of love to start engaging, and that's the idea that inspired the title track of Ani DiFranco's newest record, Revolutionary Love. The phrase is also the name of a book by DiFranco's good friend, activist Valarie Kaur, which encourages an understanding of one's adversaries.

In the 1970s, there were few singer-songwriters more beloved than Cat Stevens. A lot has changed since his landmark album Tea for the Tillerman. For one, he's a grandfather. For two, he's not even Cat Stevens anymore: He's gone by Yusuf Islam, or simply Yusuf, since his conversion to the Muslim faith later that decade.

YouTube

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

On paper, Wajatta is a musical pairing that shouldn't work. The duo is composed of Reggie Watts, a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants improviser, and John Tejada, a meticulous electronic composer. Despite seeming like a bit of an odd couple, Don't Let Get You Down, their second collaboration, was just released today.

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

In this edition, Guy Raz, host of NPR podcasts How I Built This and Wow in the World, makes a case for Talk Talk, a band that hit No. 1 on the U.S. dance charts with the song "It's My Life." Read Guy in his own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

Morning Edition's series One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

YouTube

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explai

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

In this installment, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson argues that we should know more about Harvey Danger. The band's 1997 song "Flagpole Sitta" was a staple on rock radio, but the group was never able to reach that sort of mainstream success again. Read Thompson in his own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

In this installment, Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis talks about living in Atlanta in the early 1980s, when the band The Georgia Satellites hit No. 2 on the pop charts with its debut single. Read DeCurtis in his own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

In this installment, NPR Music's Ann Powers argues that Janis Ian, who won the Grammy for best pop vocal performance in 1975 for "At Seventeen," pioneered what we now consider the adult contemporary genre. Read Ann in her own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

Last week, Morning Edition began a series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs. Each segment focuses on a musician or band whose career in the United States is defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalog has much more to offer.

In this installment, Zane Lowe, host of Apple Music's Beats 1 radio, makes his case for Spandau Ballet, a group whose sensual song "True" was a Top 10 hit in the U.S. in 1983 and endures as a film sync favorite. Read Lowe in his own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

This week, Morning Edition begins a series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs. Each segment focuses on a musician or band whose career in the United States is defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalog has much more to offer.

It was the elephant in the room. Over 20 years after parodying NPR hosts in her recurring sketch, "The Delicious Dish," former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer sat down for an interview with NPR host Noel King.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Nadia Tehran's debut album, Dozakh: All Lovers Hell, opens with a haunting excerpt from an interview with her father. Tehran's father recounts his last day fighting in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, when he drove an ammunition-filled car that exploded after it was attacked. "Death comes when it comes," Tehran's father recalls saying to rally his troops for that ill-fated expedition. "One should not be afraid of death."

Pioneering rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard brought the fire of a Pentecostal preacher to their pianos. That same spirit is alive and well in the work of Low Cut Connie, whose fifth album Dirty Pictures (Part 2) comes out May 18.

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.