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

The opioid crisis in the U.S. has never gone away.

Almost every year, more people die of opioid overdoses than in the year before. More than a half-million people have died from prescription painkillers, heroin and illicit fentanyl since 1999. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 66,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the U.S. in the 12 months to September 2020, a huge jump from the previous 12 months.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.